The word ‘green’ has taken on a new and much wider meaning with the ever-increasing use of ever-decreasing natural resources. Recycling is no longer a polite suggestion; it has become a requirement if we expect to continue with the lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to, at least in the ‘developed’ world.
In May this year at the EU Green Week Conference in Brussels, the call to “use less, and use it again” was loud and clear.
Just one of the many examples brought up at the conference was the necessity of recycling electronic equipment including mobile phones. Every time a new device appears on the market, it becomes a must-have for everyone who owns the previous latest device –“ keeping up with the Jones” it used to be called. Right now, the introduction of the Apple iPhone 4S is a case in point. Everyone wants the new one, so everyone needs to recycle the old one.
According to a Nokia survey, only about nine percent of mobile phone users are currently taking advantage of an increasing number of recycling services. The fact is that you can get money for that old iPhone (and all sorts of other electronics) as you make your own contribution to a greener environment and the conservation of the planet’s resources.
The European Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, has said that recycling is simply good common sense. He observed that the average mobile phone contains numerous non-renewable elements such as gold, platinum, copper and palladium. If all those phones were recycled, not only would the materials be there for re-use, but the business of recycling would create a lot of jobs. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
There are several reasons for that nine percent figure from the Nokia survey. Some people want to keep the old phone or other device as a back-up, but that’s only a small percentage of the 91 percent.
Most people just aren’t aware of the options available, or the fact that they can actually get paid to recycle their electronics. There are many websites available where you can compare prices paid for used iPhones, iPads, cds etc.
All you need to do is type in ‘mobile phone recycling’ and you’ll come up with sites like www.comparemobilephonerecycling.co.uk and get all the information on where to go and what prices are paid by different recycling companies. You should remove all personal information that may be stored in your phone or other device; one random sampling reported that as many as 99% of devices turned in for recycling still contained personal data of some sort.
Tossing your unwanted, outdated electronics in the trash bin is an absolute no-no as far as the environment is concerned; not only are precious metals wasted, but disposing of plastic and chemicals in landfills or by burning pollutes the ground and the air. If that doesn’t faze you, remember that you’re also throwing money away.