Cell phones are one of the quickest pieces of technology to become outdated – and also one of the worst when it comes to devaluing.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.