If you’re planning on getting rid of an old phone – that’s awesome! It’s something many people want to do. So, now the question is what can be done to help protect the environment? So, what should you do with it? Only a few years ago, this may have meant donating your slightly outdated smartphone or laptop to some charity which would then resell it in a bid to raise funds for their cause.
But there are now so many charities out there that accept old phones that we’re all starting to wonder about the true extent of our own charitable efforts as consumers. For instance, if there is an old mobile phone which is worse for the planet and if it goes from one consumer to another but only gets reused once compared to say being recycled and then used in some way more than once by someone else?
Why you should recycle your phone?
Electronic waste puts in danger to the environment and human health. For instance, cells phones may contain hazardous materials such as lithium ion batteries, plastics, and mercury which can leach their toxic elements of these substances into soil and groundwater when improperly disposed of.
Thankfully, whenever you and I happen to decide to throw out our old devices someplace where they won’t be discovered by anyone they don’t rightfully belong to, there are different organizations set up that specialize in recycling or refurbishing electronic equipment in an environmentally friendly way regardless of whether it’s working perfectly or not at all.
What to do before recycling your phone
You have to ask yourself a few questions before getting down to knowing what should you do with your old phones. What if there’s still a lot of data stored on it? What if it’s in pristine condition? Is it really necessary for you to part ways with the technological device built for perfection every time?
When you’re getting rid of an old phone, you shouldn’t just throw it away. Someone else may be able to use your old phone and you should take that into consideration. At the same time, don’t forget to deactivate or remove any accounts your phone is registered with. For example, if you want to close down a Gmail account for whichever reason, remember also to remove all devices which are linked to that email address as well!
Be sure to back up your contacts and all important data on the phone itself to be able to load this onto a different device later. Also remove the SIM card from your old phone so that you can give it to your new one. After backing up, go into settings and reset your device for ultimate security but also make sure that you don’t forget to clear any data on your phone beforehand.
Recycling your phone instead of carelessly throwing it in a junk drawer or something equally as unsightly is not only good for the planet, but like planting a tree, it’s an opportunity for you to be an active participant in making our world a better place.
- Saving the environment from hazardous materials: Cell phones come with various toxic components like lead, mercury, arsenic, and other hazardous chemicals that are neither biodegradable nor recyclable. When discarded as waste, it is either burned (misusing energy) or left in a landfill where it will cause the soil and air to absorb the toxic component into itself.
- Low energy consumption: When you use recycled phones, you are using fewer resources. This means that less of those natural resources have been used (i.e. energy is conserved) because of reduced carbon emissions and raw materials needed when creating new devices from scratch.
- Minimal impact: By recycling your phone instead of discarding it when it malfunctions, you are removing a potentially hazardous device from the environment. This does not only minimize your environmental impact but has proven to minimize your impact as well.
The Recycling Process
The recycling process begins when the old, used phone makes its way from your hands to a recycling centre. Over there, the phones are dismantled and other materials are extracted. The phone’s shell is usually given to an incinerator; however, before doing so it may also be sold for profit or returned to the manufacturer in order to be melted down into new phones. Some materials from a recycled phone include: Batteries, Metals, Plastics, LCD screens, Microphones, Screws, Speakers.
The Bottom Line:
That is how the mobile phone recycling process works; it is quite simple when you break it down step by step. It is also important to know that to recycle mobile devices is to protect the environment.