The After-Life Of A Smartphone

Cellphone Recycling

When your iPhone comes to the end of its life, what do you do with it? Do you sell it at one of the many recycling sites? It’s always good to get some return on your money, isn’t it?

Apparently in the States last year (2012) more than 130 billion mobile or cell phones were retired. We know this is a lot and it reflects not only the volumes of people who now own smartphones, or some sort of mobile, but also the rate at which technology is growing and developing. With the constant advances in technology, there is always a new version of smartphone coming into the market.

Recycling is Growing

Recycling of our old phones is growing. I’d like to say that it is because we are concerned about our environment, but I suspect it has more to do with making a little trade-in cash to compensate for our new purchase.

There are many companies that will take old phones. Even companies like Apple and O2 have their recycling policies. This is, in part, to add to their eco-footprint count, but also because the old phones are worth something to them. Most large and successful corporate companies do very little for no return – in other words, not unless it is going to benefit them in some way.

Others that Benefit

There are others who benefit from your recycled smartphone, too. Some recycling companies either resell working recycled phones, give them to charities or send them to third-world countries where new models aren’t so available.

The Verizon Hopeline Charity accepts working mobile phones; they add 3,000 free minutes for use by victims of domestic violence.

There are a number of other charities that will all accept recycling in the form of mobile phones including the British Heart Foundation, the British Red Cross, Guide Dogs, Scope, Oxfam, Age UK, and many more.

Others Reasons Why Companies Accept Recycled Mobile Phones

As well as being able to pass on working mobile phones to the less fortunate, the materials in mobile phones also mean money.

Non-working phones are usually taken apart and the parts can be reused or sold. Other parts will be melted down and the liquids obtained will be reconstituted. You’ll understand why this is worthwhile if we tell you that a ton of mined gold ore contains a mere 18 ounces of actual gold. However, 1 ton of circuitry melted down from old mobile phones produces 40 times more gold. You can understand why companies are happy to undertake this type of recycling.

It’s always best to check that the recycling company will handle the recycling responsibly. There is evidence that this isn’t always the case when recycled phones are sent to Africa and China.

Not Ready to Replace

It’s good to know that there is a new home or useful destination for your smartphone once it leaves your hands.

However, if upgrading isn’t in your immediate plans then be sure to give your smartphone its best possible chance of staying with you. Ensure that you commit to all the best practices such as not texting in busy public places, not leaving your smartphone on tables or bars when you are out, and not leaving it in the car or anywhere that it becomes a temptation for other people to use or steal. And of course, make sure that you have adequate iPhone insurance to cover damage and loss if it does happen.

Author Wendy Lin is a free-lance writer and experienced traveler. She lives a pretty quiet life in the countryside of England with her family.

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