If your mobile phone has stopped working, been dropped down the loo, or is simply too out of date to enjoy anymore, then don’t just chuck it in the bin. Many parts of your phone can be recycled. In fact, up to 80% of your phone can be recycled and given a brand new lease of life. Why recycle a phone?
Sometimes phones can be sold for reuse if they are refurbished in the correct way, however, some phones are beyond use as a unit in themselves However, that doesn’t mean it should be the death of them. As with a car, a phone can be sold for parts and many elements of it can be recycled and put to good use. Each year in the UK over 30 million phones are sold, many of which end up on a landfill site two years later because their owners don’t realise the value of the internal bits and bobs.
All that shimmers
Amongst the most useful bits of an old phone are the silver, gold and other metal components it contains. Gold is worth the most money, and is actually enjoying an all-time high in terms of global prices. The gold in a mobile phone can be melted back down and either used in jewellery or possibly in another small electrical device. The reason gold is used in phones and other such gadgets is that it’s a better conductor of electricity than copper, so it’s ideal for circuit boards. We are not talking tiny amounts either; when a ton of ore is mined for gold it may have a yield of five grams of gold, whereas old mobiles, on the other hand, can contain up to 150 grams of gold.
Other metals that can be recycled include copper and silver, which can also be extracted in abundance. A ton of old mobiles may contain up to 3 kg of silver and 100 kg of copper.
Plastic may not seem a valuable enough commodity to recycle but it’s certainly better than chucking it away. Plastic can be removed, melted down and reused in mouldings for other goods.
Many of the most useful bits of a phone can be recycled and used again. These include the aerial, keyboard, the microphones, the lenses, the SIM card holder, the speaker, the screen and even the screws. Even the flash memory device can sometimes be reused.
Any phone will do
The process is not exclusive and you can recycle old iPhones, Nokias or Samsungs, plus many more besides. Even that ten-year-old brick-shaped phone you are still keeping will have plenty of bits that can be recycled. So even if you don’t get a huge reward for it, it’s as important as recycling your newspapers and glass bottles.
In many instances you can get cash for your phone and it will then be re-used or recycled. If you have a drawer full of old mobile phones, you are potentially sitting on a small gold mine and it may be time to let them find a new purpose in life.