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How Does Smartphone Recycling Work

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Daliah Okoro
Daliah Okoro
May 11, 2018

Did you know that the inside of your old phone holds precious metals? More likely than not, you probably have an old drawer that houses old phones from the past that you never got around to recycle. Cell phones, unlike old computers or printers, are easy to store away in a drawer somewhere and forget about. However, when it comes to old phones, smartphone recycling is one of the best things that you can do for the space in your home, and the environment as well. E-waste recycling solutions not only prevents old, electronic waste from ending up in landfills, it also allows for precious metals to be reused.

It might come as a surprise to you, but your old phone that has been lying around in your home somewhere contains as many as 60 precious elements that can be reused instead of mining for fresh materials. For example, from the lithium in a phone’s batteries to the conductive layer of indium tin that is in the screen of a smartphone, there are plenty of elements to be reused in a phone. In a phone, you’ll also find copper, silver, gold, tantalum and iron-boron magnets that are typically found in microphones and speakers are all waiting to be reused.

Aside from the apparent benefit of reusing metals and elements for new electronics, a bonus is keeping away toxic elements from the general population. While valuable metals such as gold can be found in phones, toxic elements such as barium, lead, lithium, mercury, silver, nickel, rhodium, and palladium are also found in old pieces of technology. These toxic elements can seep into the ground, get into water supplies, and even in the air. These toxic elements have been known to cause congenital disabilities, heart and liver damage, kidney damage, damage to the nervous system and even brain damage. When you send your old electronics to a certified recycler, not only are you decreasing the need for new elements to be mined, you are also helping to protect the environment and our health.

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