A common practice that I have been seeing is cell phone recycling. While ten years ago cell phones were not something that most of the population had, we now see that even ten year olds are walking around with cell phones!
Some of these ten year olds are walking around with their parents’ old phones, but there are others who receive brand new phones. Parents could save a lot of money by reusing their phones. Not only this, but throwing away the phone could mean that you are throwing away a phone that potentially could be used by someone else who cannot afford to buy a phone.
Every year Americans discard over 100 million cell phones. That is over 50,000 tons of waste, and the amount of recycled phones is extremely low. Cell phones are made up of dangerous materials, such as arsenic, zinc and lead. When thrown into landfills, these materials can seep into the groundwater or be incinerated and therefore end up in the air that we breathe. Recycling cell phones will help to preserve the environment.
Many cell phone companies offer contract deals–meaning that, for instance, after two years you can buy a new phone for a certain deal. Getting a new phone every two years is not entirely necessary. Some people end up putting away perfectly good phones! Think about how many people in America are on these 2-year contract plans, and now think about how many phones that is!
While some stores have cell phone drop-off spots, recycling cell phones has not become a common practice. There are even websites that will allow you to sell or donate your old cell phones. One website is GRC Wireless Recycling. They will buy used cell phones from businesses, individuals, and municipal recyclers if you sell them at least 10 phones. You also can simply donate phones, or they will support you in organizing a cell phone fundraiser through a nonprofit organization, a school, or a community group.
So, next time you go to discard your old cell phone, try finding a place to recycle it! Either someone could use it and appreciate it, or someone will discard it in a safe manner!