If your phone is broken, and you're not able to repair it, that doesn't have to be the end of its life! Recycling means that your old phone can either be refurbished, or its components can be reused to make new devices. This can help save energy, reduce harmful pollution, conserve resources, and so much more! With new companies leading the way in proper disposal and reuse of electronics, not only can you do something great for the environment, but you can also make money back on your expensive phone.
Why is it important to properly dispose of your old phone?
Reduce e-waste pollution
Did you know that almost 50 million tons of e-waste are produced every year? And the United Nations estimates that number could increase to 74.7 million by 2030. Yet only a small percentage of this e-waste is recycled. When old laptops, cell phones, and tablets end up in landfills they can discharge lead, mercury, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals. These chemicals are known to cause medical issues and are detrimental to the environment. Qualified recycling facilities will be able to handle these harmful materials safely, keeping them out of our soil and water.
Conserve natural resources
Properly disposing of your old devices means that its components will feed back into the economy. Precious metals such as copper, silver, and gold are used in the production of cell phones. For every 1 million cell phones 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. These precious resources can then be reused to manufacture new products, instead of needing to deplete our natural resources by mining more from the earth.
It takes a lot of energy to manufacture a brand-new electronic device. In fact, roughly 1 gigajoule of energy is needed to create a modern smartphone. Recycling one million laptops would save the energy equivalent to 3,657 U.S. homes' worth of energy in a year, and recycling 100 million phones saves enough energy to power more than 370,000 homes. Conserve energy by recycling your device and consider buying a refurbished device to lower your carbon footprint even more!
Repaired electronics help communities
Repaired electronics can give people in lower income areas access to less expensive devices. Brand new smartphones and laptops can be prohibitively expensive for many people. When your old device is refurbished, it's sold at a much lower price point. This gives people with less capital to spend a chance to have access to technology. Technology helps communities stay connected, access knowledge and learning opportunities, apply to jobs, and more!
Create recycling jobs
Demand for recycling creates jobs across the globe! The EPA reports that recycling programs create 750,000 jobs. If the US could increase its recycling rate to around 75 percent by 2030 (from the current estimated rate of around 35 percent) we would create 1.1 million new jobs. These jobs would be collecting, processing and preparing materials, making new products from recycled materials, and reuse and remanufacturing. What a great way to improve the environment and the unemployment rate!
Keep phones out of landfills
Each year, we produce 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste in the US alone. All that waste is filling up our landfills, to the point where we could start running out of space within our lifetimes. Recycling and composting can help solve this issue. However, of the 140 million phones that are disposed of every year in the US, only 15 percentget recycled. The other 90 percent typically ends up in landfills or incinerated. By selling or donating your phone and other e-waste you can have a big impact on our landfill problems.
If your old phone is just sitting around in a drawer, get a quote for its value. How much you'll receive for your device depends on the make and model, how old it is, and if it's significantly damaged. However, even if your device doesn't turn on anymore you can still get some money for it! Put that money towards a repair on your current phone or save up for your next device. Want to know how much your old phone is worth? Get a quote from Gizmogo today.
If you're convinced that recycling your broken phone is a great idea, follow these steps to properly donate or sell it!
- Clean your device with an alcohol wipe or something similar.
- Backup your data
- Reset your phone to factory settings, which will remove most of your personal information.
- Remove SD and SIM cards if applicable (some phones don't have these).
- Take note of the phone's model and make, as well as the working condition so that you can report it to the recycling facility.
- Donate or sell your phone to a recycling facility! Depending on your phone's condition it may be refurbished or recycled into new devices.