Recycling is all the rage and in the case of mobile phones, it makes both ecological and economic sense.
Rather than filling up landfill your mobile phone can either be refurbished and reused or for very old or broken handsets stripped down and the valuable metals and plastic recovered.
When you send your mobile phone to be recycled, the company will first check to make sure it is not reported as lost or stolen. The Central Equipment Identity Register holds records of mobiles that have been reported as stolen and a simple check of the phone’s IMEI number should prevent these devices from re-entering the marketplace.
Phones are then passed to specialist repair centres who will swap out broken or damaged elements before updating the software if required.
Many of these refurbished handsets will then be reissued as replacements under warranty or insurance claims or sold back onto the market as second hand or refurbished phones. Older models may well find themselves being shipped to emerging markets where they are still in demand, particularly in areas where land line networks are as yet undeveloped.
For those devices that cannot be reused, the component parts like the small amounts of metals such as platinum, silver, gold, and copper will be recycled, often into jewellery whilst the plastic from the casing is melted down and reused.
The newer the mobile the more chance it has of being reused so when you do replace your phone recycle it or give it to a charity who can recycle it for you as soon as possible.