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Daily Recycling Article
Cell phones are one of the quickest pieces of technology to become outdated – and also one of the worst when it comes to devaluing. As this device continues to develop, they are increasingly becoming competition for computers. You can surf online, check email, make calls, and even keep up with the stock market. With many offering a plethora of options that can put any desktop to shame, high-tech cell phones are a direct cause of slumping sales for traditional PC’s. Even so, something bigger and better is constantly being put out on the market, and as such, old cell phone leftovers are more prominent than ever.
Coast to coast, old cell phones are eating up space in landfills. With their toxic chemical make up, they pollute air, water and land sources. As natural human desire dictates that no one will quit buying the latest and greatest anytime soon, we have a responsibility and duty to the environment to look at our next best option – recycling these old cell phones. Highly developed, technologically savvy countries are constantly under pressure to upgrade. With the United State’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimating 125 million phones are discarded each year, it’s apparent there must be a better way. Translating into 65 tons of solid waste, the numbers are frankly discouraging and unacceptable.
Depending upon the condition and technology worthiness of the phone, there are several options for recycling. The quickest option is a local distribution center that accepts donations of cell phones; a quick look through the Yellow Pages can lead you in that direction. Many women’s shelters and outreach programs will accept working cell phones, even old models, as a means of enabling abused women and children with a means of communication with the outside world while in these outreach programs. Beyond this, cell phone companies and network providers will often provide credit for trading in an old phone in conjunction with a new purchase. If you simply have an extra, look into second-hand purchasers. Local shopping centers and strip malls have deposit locations, much like ATM’s, that make dropping your phone off quick and simple – and often, you’ll receive fast cash for doing so.
It is our responsibility to protect our environment. While having the latest and greatest gadget is fun and status-enhancing, tossing our older technology into landfills is not. The next time you’re in the market for a new cell phone, remember to also be in the market for ways to recycle your old phone. Whether by donation or a quick cash collection, think twice before you toss that old phone in the can.
Many countries proclaim their dedication to recycling and helping to ease the effects of climate change, yet it is the most developed countries in the world that are also its prime polluters. Countries seemingly obsessed with the latest and greatest of everything contribute with their constant pursuit of new items, requiring more and more raw materials be harvested for such items. Higher population and greater numbers of families also create a further and never-ending demand for production. It is perhaps their developing efforts to recycle and become more eco-friendly that stands as at least a partial defense of their pollution-causing habits.
In general, answering which country recycles the most is complex, to say the least. As countries measure different forms, types and standards of recycling, finding a comparable measure can be challenging. One of the strongest measures for such questions can be at least partially defined using EPI rankings. Created from a longitudinal study out of Yale University, this long-range study measured rates of environmentally conscious citizens and eco-friendly industries.
Grading 149 countries and using a scale of 0-100, with 0 being worst and 100 being best, they measured categories of: emission, sulfur output, efforts of the society in conservation, plus purity of water resources. Switzerland topped the overall ranking with 95.5, Sweden and Norway tied with 93.1, Finland took 3rd with 91.4, and the rankings continued on with Costa Rica-90.5, Austria-89.4, New Zealand-88.9, Latvia-88.8, Colombia-87.8 and France with 87.8. Out of the top 20, there were 14 European countries, with the US trailing behind at 39th with a rating of 81.0.
In measuring recycling rates, Switzerland topped the list at 52%, with Austria (49.7%,), Germany (48%), The Netherlands (46%), Norway (40%), and Sweden (34%) following suit. The US came in at 31.5%.
Many of the greenest countries are also top producers and consumers of technologies and other products, yet have managed to be at the forefront of environmental protection efforts. Known for progressive legislation and a push for household and industrial standards that are eco-friendly, these countries stand as a testament to the recycling movement as a whole. Though perhaps not number one in results, the U.S. did rank highest in its dedication to bringing to light environmentally-conscious pursuits. Thus, while European nations as a whole rank the highest in environmental success, the United State’s promising efforts to expand similar success in their country should certainly not be discounted.