Phones, phones, phones! They’re such useful little pieces of technology, we would be easily lost without them. We place such high value on their usefulness in organizing our daily lives that sometimes we forget how valuable cell phones are as raw material. The next time you get a new phone, think about those waste stream recycling bins you’ve seen around your workplace. If you’ve decided to get rid of your old phone, finding a recycling bin is the only step that you, as a consumer, need to take in order to take part in the circular cell phone economy and reduce waste.
Surprisingly, phones can have up to a 10 year lifespan, which means that most phones are tossed out before their expiration date. What does recycling do? Well, instead of adding to a landfill, specialized companies will refurbish and donate functioning phones to communities like active-duty military members, veterans, law enforcement emergencies, and victims. Within the circular economy, retouching and redistributing functional goods is the most minimal-process and cost-effective recycling option.
Unfortunately, phones are sometimes replaced because they have ceased functioning. In that case, such devices can be disassembled for their individual components, (for example circuit boards, screens, antennas, microphones, etc.) which have their own separate life cycles. And if these components are no longer working, downstream recyclers can break down phone materials even further, sending metals, plastics, and batteries to automotive, art, plastics, and other industries. It may not seem like much, but cell phones are by weight, the most valuable electronic device to recycle.
Make it easy for your school, workplace, or community organization to participate in the circular cell phone economy! The recycle bins from Waste Wise are available with up to eight waste stream separation bins, and various looks perfect for tight spaces, polished offices, or outdoor events.