The World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on June 5. This celebration is to highlight the protection and health of the environment. It provides an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.
Do you have mobile phones you no longer use and are lying around at home or gathering dust on a drawer or cabinet? You can actually participate in the campaign to save the environment by recycling your old phones.
Why you should recycle your old phones
Did you know that mobile phones contain several valuable materials and components? This means that even if your phone is completely unusable, 80 percent of the materials that it is made from can be recycled and used again.
The following are some of the reasons why you should recycle your old phones:
- Harmful materials. If you throw your old phone to the trash, thus ending up in the landfill, these materials can damage the environment. That’s because some of the materials are hazardous such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and brominated flame retardants. These chemicals can contaminate the air, soil, and groundwater.
What’s more, these materials can cause major health problems. An example is mercury, which has long been known to cause brain damage, muscular disorders, and other medical issues. Lead, which is another common element in mobile phones, can cause cancer and brain damage.
- Conserving resources. If you recycle your phone, the materials in it will also be recycled and can be put to good use. In your phone, you can recover materials such as gold, solder, and silicone, and use them again. There are some rare earth materials in your phones too.
If your mobile phone is inoperable, a qualified recycler can recover some of its plastic, metal, and rare earth elements. However, if it still function, you will be preventing the need to produce another one. As such, you can help save valuable natural resources.
- Water reduction. You can turn your mobile phones in and reduce the amount of waste entering the ecosystem.
- Save money. You can actually save some money if you turn in a working phone for a new one. That’s because you will get a cash discount for a new mobile phone. There are even some sellers that give you a cash bonus for turning in an old phone.
What should you do before you recycle your smartphones?
Here are some of the things you should do to prepare your old phone before turning it in for recycling.
- Clean your phone thoroughly. Remember, you shouldn’t use cleaners that contain ammonia. You can use alcohol instead.
- Completely backup your data. You should check your phone’s manual online. You should allow the exact procedure for backing up data.
- Perform a proper reset. You should do a factory reset. This will eliminate about 95 percent of all your personal information on the phone.
- Take the SD and SIM cards out of the phone. Remember to remove all SIM, SD memory, and other cards that you may have added to the phone.
What is the best way to recycle your old mobile phone?
How can you dispose of your old smartphones in an environmentally friendly way? There are several ways you can recycle your old mobile phone. Here are some of them.
- Donate your old mobile phones. You can donate your old mobile devices to charities. Most charity shops actually accept mobile phones for recycling in all conditions. The charity shops can collect them for refurbishment or recycling. As such, your donated phone can help raise money for charity.
Where can you donate your phone? Here are some of the places where you can donate your old mobile phones:
- Little Lives. This is a small charity that operates three shops in London, in Raynes Park, Tooting and Fulham Broadway. The phones will either be sent to the schools, councils, and refugee centers. The mobile phones are also sold to help fund its charity campaigns.
- Foneback. While Fonebank is a trade-in site, it also lets you donate part, or all, of the proceeds to one of three charities. These charities are WaterAid, Oxfam, and the National Trust.
- Tesco Mobile. Tesco’s phone donation service is called Tesco Mobile Reconnects. Tesco Mobile Reconnects does not put your phone into the hands of a homeless person. However, it is converted to cash, the proceeds then will be put into a pot to supply phones and other devices to Crisis.
- Trade in mobile phones. There are several companies that offer money for trading in phones. These are phone recycling services. If you are worried, you can check these companies’ websites for quotes. They will provide you with a courier label and, usually, pay pretty promptly after it is received.
There are no worries about getting scammed out of your money by a dodgy buyer. Only that the courier may lose your phone in transit. However, you should take a look at each site’s condition criteria before picking a phone recycler.
The following are some of the places where you can trade-in your mobile phones.
- Mazuma Mobile. This is one of the best known phone trade-in sites. It uses just two grades to judge condition, assuming your phone is in reasonable nick.
- Music Magpie. This is the top alternative to Mazuma Mobile. It uses a near-identical grading system and seems to offer more money for poor condition phones in some cases.
- Sell your phone. Are you not satisfied with the trade-in values? You can actually sell your old mobile phone privately. You will most likely rake-in more money by doing so. Keep in mind that there are risks of getting scammed by a buyer. If you want to avoid this, you should always send your phone via a tracked service that confirms delivery.
If you want to further help save the environment, you should refurbished iPhones for sale or Android devices from retailers that sell them. You see, by opting for a refurbished phone, you are basically extending the product’s lifespan. As such, you will be saving a properly functioning phone from ending up in the landfill. Using an old electronic product resets the clock and reduces the environmental impact.
By refurbishing old phones, they will be sent back into circulation. In a circular economy, the products you buy and use on a regular basis are repaired and reused rather than replaced. This decreases the amount of emissions you produce while ensuring everyone still has access to the gadgets they want and need.