The estimate is that every 12 to 18 months mobile phones are replaced or upgraded in the UK for a better model regardless if the previous model was working fine or not. The old versions then get tossed in the bin and most likely end up in one of the many landfills around Britain. Recent research has suggested that the phones will break down to nothing in a little over one thousand years because of the battery and everything else inside the framing.
When in landfills the handsets leak chemicals from the battery and other parts, and this then can cause pollution in the soil and could eventually reach the water supply. Estimates say that one mobile phone that is not disposed of correctly and ends up in a river could eventually pollute up to six hundred thousand litres.
In the UK there has been new legislation by the government introduced stating it is an offence to throw away a mobile device into the dustbin. They have to be taken to centres for recycling, reused, donated to charities or recycled on one of the numerous sites for mobile recycling.
Many of the recycling sites for mobile units will allow users to not only trade in the old phones but will also take games consoles, digital cameras and MP3 players. The largest devices such as home appliances and TVs need to be taken to a recycling centre run by the councils for correct recycling.
The sites for mobile recycling are easy to use and many of them pay the individual in shopping vouchers or cash for bringing in their mobile phones. Once the recyclers receive them they are either used for parts, reused, entirely recycled to make handsets in the future or are shipped off to developing countries where the handsets are too expensive for most in those countries.
Due to the government being pressured to hit EU targets for recycling the awareness of the importance of recycling mobile electronic devices has been heightened. Plus the number of television advertisements and other coverage telling everyone how important they need to recycle their phones when they no longer use them.
With the myriad of different schemes for recycling both offline and online, once the people know what has to be done there is no reason why, in just a short period of time, the majority of the country’s population should not be recycling their old units correctly.