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Recycling your mobile phone is an important way to reduce the amount of electronic waste and conserve valuable natural resources. There are several reasons why you should consider recycling your old mobile phone, and many options for doing so, however mobile phones should not be put in your recycling bin at home.
Environmental benefits of recycling your mobile phone?
First and foremost, recycling your mobile phone helps to protect the environment. Mobile phones contain many toxic chemicals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, that can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Additionally, mobile phones are made from a variety of valuable materials, such as copper, silver, and gold, that can be reused if the phones are recycled. This reduces the need to extract raw materials, which is detrimental to the environment and negatively impacts biodiversity.
Mobile phones should not be put in your general waste or recycling bin at home
There are many options for recycling your mobile phone, but they shouldn’t be put in your recycling bin at home.
Mobile phones can pose a fire risk when they are disposed of in general waste or kerbside recycling. Mobile phones, like most electronic devices, contain a lithium-ion battery that can catch fire or explode under certain conditions.
When a mobile phone is thrown into your kerbside recycling or general waste bin at home, it can be crushed or damaged, potentially causing the battery to short-circuit and ignite. This can create a fire that can spread to other materials in the waste stream, including other electronic devices or flammable materials, such as paper or plastic.
In addition to the risk of fire, the toxic materials and chemicals found in mobile phones can also pose a hazard if they are released into the environment as a result of a fire or during the decomposition process.
So how do you recycle a mobile phone?
Many mobile phone manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, offer recycling programs for their devices. These programs allow you to send in your old mobile phone for recycling, and in some cases, you may even be eligible for a credit towards the purchase of a new device. Some mobile carriers also offer recycling programs, which can be a great option if you are upgrading to a new device through your carrier.
In addition to manufacturer and carrier recycling programs, most Household Waste Recycling Centres (also known as your local tip) accept mobile phones and there are many independent recycling organisations that specialise in electronic waste recycling. These organisations typically accept a wide variety of electronic devices, including mobile phones, and will recycle them in an environmentally responsible way.
Another option for recycling your mobile phone is to donate it to a charitable organisation. Many charities accept mobile phone donations, which can be refurbished and sold to raise funds for their programs. Donating your mobile phone is a great way to give back to your community while also helping to protect the environment.
Finally, if your mobile phone is still in good working condition, you may be able to sell it or trade it in for a credit towards a new device. Many retailers and online marketplaces offer trade-in programs for mobile phones, which can be a great way to get some value back from your old device.
Whilst J&B Recycling do not accept mobile phones as part of our kerbside collection and processing schemes, we do have all of the necessary infrastructure such as permits and licences for the separate collection and processing of segregated business WEEE / EEE waste.
J&B Recycling provide waste management solutions for local authorities and businesses across the North of England. Our main Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is based in Hartlepool and we have a second site in Middlesbrough, making us ideally placed for collections across Teesside (Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Darlington). We also have a site in Washington and we operate established collection routes throughout Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if we can help with your waste collection.