Monday, November 24, 2008

Top 5 Reasons to Recycle Your Cell Phone

Awhile back, we talked about recycling batteries (you can read that post HERE). As mentioned in that post, cell phones are also recyclable.

Today, we are once again privileged, to have a guest author. Jeremy Sherman, Project Manager of Customer Magnetism,, has graciously submitted the following article for your consideration.

Top 5 Reasons to Recycle Your Cell Phone

Technology is constantly evolving, especially in the realm of cellar devices. You can’t turn on your TV without being bombarded by the newest, fastest, sleekest cell phone model. Each one comes with more capabilities and bells and whistles. So the time comes in every cell phone’s life to say goodbye. Change is good, but what happens to your old friend? Does it end up in a junk drawer? In an old box somewhere? If you’re like millions of Americans, it ends up in the trash….and this can be a serious problem. Recycling cell phones is an easy process which has many benefits. Below are 5 reasons why recycling your cell should be a priority.

Cell Phones Contain Toxic Materials

That sweet gun metal finish, back lit LCD screen, and QWERTY keypad come at a price, and that price is toxic materials. Most all cell phones these days contain lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Yeah, arsenic. When you toss it in the trash, it ends up in an incinerator or landfill, where those materials can combust causing some major environmental issues. These materials often times sweep into the soil or drinking water which ends up affecting a lot more than just the landfill they get dumped in. Many of these materials like cadmium and lead are known to cause liver and lung cancer in humans. With the average shelf life of a cell phone peaking out at 18 months, it’s easy to see how these little devices can result in a much larger problem.

All Those Phones Add Up!

When was the last time you met someone without a cell phone? Nowadays kids take notes via text message and surf myspace on their iPhones. Just about everyone has a cell, and they all want the newer, better version coming out next year. If the average cell phone user is only holding on to a phone for 18 months, that creates a LOT of waste. The EPA predicts that more than 150 MILLION cell phones are thrown away each year. That’s 75,000 tons of toxic material waste every single year. There is no sign of those numbers slowing or decreasing in the future. By recycling your phone, you are helping to cut down on this growing problem.

Just Because It’s Not New, Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Work

Wait, you’re telling me that my phone only has a 7 mega pixel camera, but this super new phone has a 16 mega pixel camera?? I’m ready to upgrade. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. 7 mega pixel no longer works. In fact 80% of the 150 million cells that are thrown out each year are in perfect, or close to perfect working order. When you recycle your phone, it is thoroughly inspected for its quality and whenever possible, it is refurbished and resold. But how does this benefit you? You’ve moved on to higher quality pictures and unlimited texts. By recycling your phone, you’ve helped keep production costs down, and in turn it keeps product costs down as well. That’ll come in handy next time you upgrade.

Even If Your Phone Is Dead, It Can Still Be Recycled

You spilled coffee on your phone, your dog chewed it up, and the screen is dead? It can still be recycled even if it can’t be reused. Many times broken phones still have many working parts which are reused in the production of new phones. Even in the event your old faithful phone is truly dead, all the metals and materials used to make it can be broken down and reused to make new cell phones. By recirculating the materials, it can significantly cut back on the need for new metal mining. All this is done in a completely environmentally safe process.

Recycle and Get Involved

November 15th is “America Recycles Day”. This national holiday is in its 11th year and going stronger than ever. Through the countless efforts of many local and national recycling and environmental facilities millions of Americans will learn what they can do to help. According to the EPA, if only 1 million cell phones were recycled, they could produce enough energy to power 1,940 homes with electricity for a full year! If 150 million phones got recycled that’d mean electricity for 291,000 homes. What better way to be a part of ARD than by starting off with recycling your old cell phone.

If you’d like more information on cell phone recycling, or if you’d like to find out what you can do to help, contact GRC Recycling,

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