What Do You Know Of Mobile Phone Recycling?

It is heard that developed countries like the US, and the likes have been dumping its old mobile handsets like worn clothing with some of them having been used even lesser than garments. The sheer pressure of not wanting to be owners of dated technology  and an old fashioned apparatus, mobile hand sets are dumped in bins as there are no takers for them !They say –at one point of time, mobile phone handsets and other electronic wastes comprised  most of the hazardous junk found in landfills in the US.

Newer cell phones in the market, with better technology were the biggest draw for the gizmo crazy modern world.It was ready to give up  the old lot. Manufacturers fashioned the shelf life in a way that one was pressed into going for a newer model. Now one is aware of the materials that go into the making of a hand set. Plastics, steel, copper, lead, zinc and some more are present in different proportions in almost all the cell phones. When one discards it, it finally enters the soil, creating toxic waste. We have heard of lead poisoning and the ill effect it can have on the water and soil. The waste sites were directly causing harm to the labourers who worked on these trash disposal sites and the landfills. Then came a time when the awareness of toxic wastes in the soil and improper disposal of such gadgets rose to such levels that the countries had to come up with a solution to this growing menace.

Another important aspect of it was the disregard which was being shown to precious metals when we just trashed a mobile phone; as mining/manufacturing them was not an easy task. As metals don’t evaporate on use, the need to retrieve them from the waste was also felt. In addition, finding a way to reuse those discarded mobile phones was being thought over as most of them could be reused with minimum repairs or no repairs as they could still function as a mobile handset.

So, now the manufacturing companies have approached this problem in three pronged manner. First and the foremost is reuse as a reuse. They have opened kiosks and outlets which take back the old handset and value it as per its components and give the owner its value in cash. They then, refurbish the discarded handset to its new look with minimum touch ups and repairs and send them to third world markets.(developing and poor countries) to be sold at affordable rates.

Second approach is to segregate the reusable components in the newer handsets and then dump it. The third approach is to recycle all the components separately and use it as pure material for building/making other products. This problem, though addressed a little late is likely to be solved in an effective manner if all the users and the makers of mobile handsets act responsibly and think of the future of this earth, its soil and water and the generations to come.

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