Do We Really Need To Recycle Phones?
What good would it do for you to know how to recycle your old and broken mobile phones for a green cause? Consider this: Surveys in some “first world” nations indicate that over 70% of the population either currently own a mobile phone, or have plans to buy one shortly. And those that have, or will shortly acquire a device, will maintain the same device for roughly 2 and half years – after which they will switch devices.
You might think that since you are paying for your mobile phone, you are entitled to do what you wish with an older device. That may be true. But when you think of yourself as a citizen of the global village, then knowing how to recycle your old and broken mobile phones for a green cause makes perfect sense. And here’s why.
Mobile phones contain many parts that are made up of environmentally harmful materials. Old cell phones, or those that are broken or not wanted for any reason, often end up in landfills. Those harmful materials thus get back into our ecosystems and lead to contamination of the soil and water supply. Worse still, the contamination can last for many generations to come, which means you will be leaving a huge environmental cleanup burden for your children and grandchildren to deal with.
But there’s more ways that recycling can help. Many components from old or broken mobiles can be reused. And this means scarce raw materials don’t need to be mined in order to provide the building blocks to manufacture those components. And, by reducing manufacturing requirements, you help eliminate industrial pollution that comes with manufacturing.
How To Recycle?
Hopefully you are now convinced that knowing how to recycle your old and broken mobile phones for a green cause is indeed a good thing. Many governments, local health organizations and mobile phone manufacturers are now actively promoting programs to recycle industrial and household electronic items, including mobile phones. Drop zones have been established at convenient locations within the community where residents can stop by and drop off their old mobile phones.
If you are one of those environmentally-conscious citizens that do not have a drop zone conveniently located close to your home, there may be other options available for you. Many businesses now offer services whereby they pay for your old and broken cell phones. Usually, you mail in your old phone, and you get paid via online sites such as PayPal.
Once these entities receive the old phones, they have the knowledge and the skills to then dispose of them in an environmentally responsible way, re-using old components where possible.
Words of Caution!
Most mobile phones today use a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), or flash memory card, on which sensitive data about the subscriber is stored. Removable SIM cards are usually part of the removable Integrated Circuit Card (ICC) for the device. Often, this component can easily be removed and inserted into your new device, giving you instant access to a lot of your personal data and address book information.
Knowing how to recycle your old and broken mobile phones for a green cause involves learning how to either erase all the information on the devices’ flash memory, as well as on any other permanent storage media on the device, before you recycle it.