Of course all recycling is important, and helps to reduce the immense amounts of waste we plug into landfills. But why is mobile phone recycling so popular these days? Is it just an easy way to make money, or, like other kinds of recycling, does it really help the environment?
Let’s look at how mobile phones are recycled. Mobiles are full of components, and many of these components are made from relatively valuable materials, even gold and silver. Copper and other valuable metals can’t be manufactured, and can be classed as limited or non-renewable resources. Harvesting these materials from mobiles helps to reduce our need for more intensive mining.
Many of the things inside mobile phones, and their plastic casings, are not good for the environment. In fact, if they are disposed of in an inconsiderate manner they could cause serious problems for the environment, including wildlife. Recycling ensures that mobile phones are disposed of in a more ethical, conscientious manner.
Perhaps most interestingly, mobile phones can be refurbished and then sold in emerging markets. Mobile phone technology can be immensely valuable in developing countries, not least because it allows farmers to regulate crops. Whilst your old phone might be “out of fashion” this doesn’t mean that it lacks value.
Next time you recycle Blackberry phones thing about, not only the they few extra dollars you could earn, but about how your phone can be put to some further use.