You may be aware that there are a number of specialist companies who willingly pay anything up to $200 for your old cell phone handset. The handset is then taken and recycled, using a number of different methods. Sometimes the component parts of the cell phone – such as the screen, the keyboard or the battery – are redistributed to create other working handsets, and sometimes the handsets are simply resold whole for profit.
This, of course, solves two problems: it takes the handset off your hands and keeps another unwanted phone potentially out of a waste landfill site. Everybody wins; especially as you may find yourself getting cash for something you had considered worthless.
There is, however, a downside to the phone recycling industry: the better the handset, the higher the price. If, for example, you wanted to ‘recycle’ an iPhone, you would be looking in the region of $200. However… who wants to recycle something that is a recent handset? You’d be better off selling it on eBay – even if it is broken. No, what most of us need is a way to dispose of our really old handsets – the bricks we had when we considered text messaging alone the very forefront of technology. These handsets are worth $10-$15 at most, and with delivery costs it just isn’t worth it.
So we need a solution: something that gets rid of our old handsets from clogging up our homes, but keeps the phones out of landfill waste. If you phone is still in working order, contact a charity and donate it to them. You won’t get any money for it, but a little altruism goes a long way – and that phone will be put to excellent use.
In the 21st century, it would seem that one is not complete without the latest cell phone. With newer and more advanced handsets constantly springing upon the market, the compulsion to keep ahead of the tech game and constantly upgrade handsets for the latest ‘it’ model is extreme – and it’s no wonder the cell phone market is one of the most profitable technology industries in the world.
Throughout the last ten years, the average 30 year old adult is estimated to have had six different cell phone handsets. So what happens to those handsets that have had their day, replaced by shiny new models? While some consumers may be savvy and list their unwanted cells for sale on auction sites like eBay, the vast majority of people will throw the phones away – often by simply dropping them in with their household trash.
This extra pressure on an already over-burdened world of waste has lead to a rise in ‘phone recycling’. There are numerous companies that specialize in taking unwanted handsets and making them useful again – or, at the very lease, recycling the component parts and preventing them from ending up in landfill.
Most of these companies will pay anything from $20 to $200 – depending on your handset – for your old, unused phone. Some companies will not require the phone to be in working order; so you really have nothing to lose, and a lot of cash and environmental points to gain. So before you throw last year’s cell away, see what you could get for it and recycle.
For so long, we were unaware of how the environment was affected by what we have come to consider as human activity. As a result, in the present day we find ourselves running somewhat to catch up, and the only way that we can get more out of ourselves in the recycling process is to look to science for help. How can the scientific sector help us to make the future cleaner and greener. What is on offer as a recycling head start?
Scientists are working on a system of making fuel from biomass – a word to describe any materials we dispose of that may be able to biodegrade fast and have another use. As things stand, biomass fuel is still very much a niche industry – but if it gets the opportunity it could be the solution to two problems in one. Less burning of fossil fuels means less harm to the air quality and less contribution to global warming. The use of garbage of fuel means more space in landfills.
Recent advances in the recycling of paper have included “deinking”, a system which draws the ink from newsprint as part of the recycling process. The outcome of this is that recycled paper is now of a better quality than ever, making it usable in a wider range of processes and lessening the need to cut down trees for the purposes of making virgin paper. The logic inherent in doing this is obvious. More trees means less carbon dioxide, more recycled paper means less pollution – allowing us to cut the amount of pollutants in our environment.