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Published on August 12th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


Cell phone Recycling: The Hows and Whys

In today’s generation, new electronics and smart phones are coming out on the market everyday.  And with the large demand for having the newest and greatest thing, our old phones end up sitting around for years, or even worst, end up in the trash.  When electronics end up in the trash, they will end up in our landfills and eventually into the soil where all the toxic chemicals can escape into the ecosystem.  Not only do we have to worry about the soil, but if we do not recycle our old electronics, the metals and materials inside of our phones will have to be newly manufactured, taking up lots of energy and creating carbon emissions that end up in our atmosphere.  Here is how to recycle your cell phone and some things you may want to consider.

There are many EPA sustainable materials management or SSM participants including many reputable companies.  You can take any electronic device to one of these participating companies and they will make sure it is recycled correctly.  In fact, the EPA estimates that for every 1 million cell phones recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper can be recovered, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium if you recycle with SSM participants.  Even better, there are participants that will pay you for the recycled electronics.  Many companies exist today that you can either drop your device off at, or mail it in and receive a check for the recycled good.  This can be a great way to make a few extra bucks.  However, it is recommended that before getting rid of your phone, to make sure that you get the full potential of it.  For instance, if your phone is still working well and is updated, try to get the most time out of it before buying another.

It is also important that before you recycle your phone that you have everything deleted and erased from it.  Your old mobile device probably holds tons of personal information that you cannot afford to have fall into the wrong hands.  Things such as passwords, account numbers, emails, voice messages etc…The best way to completely erase the phone is to do a factory reset.  Your local mobile phone store can do this for you, or you can get instructions online usually.  If you have an SIM or SD card, make sure that it is completely erased as well if you do not intend on using it again.  Always double check that the phone has been wiped out before turning it in for recycling.

This post is sponsored by E-waste Harvestors, working to recycle cell phones in Phoenix. E-waste harvesters specialize in recycling electronics responsibly.


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