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Published on December 12th, 2012 | by admin

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Mobile Phone Recycling: Changing Technology and Cellular Wastes

If a few years back someone asked you to recycle your mobile phone, you may have laughed at the idea. But now, recycling of handsets has become a social responsibility of everyone who owns a phone. With electronic waste in the world rising at an alarming rate, and cell phone wastes being the heart of the matter, proper disposal of your used phone is quintessential. In the midst of all the industrial and the technological revolutions occurring in the world, keeping a check on the electronic waste is our duty towards nature. If the matter goes unnoticed—soon it may become uncontrollable.

Changing Technology and Electronic Waste

Technology is changing, and is changing now. Something that is new and latest at one point may become obsolete the next. As per an estimate, cell phones are the most rapidly changing electronic equipments in the world. Statistics show that Americans alone throw away millions of cell phones each year, just to move on to a newer piece of technology. This is mainly due to rapid outburst of technological innovations from Apple and Google Android.

The question is, what happens to these discarded phones? Well, they are rapidly increasing our toxic waste count. Out of all the toxic waste polluting our lands, 70% is contributed by redundant electronics. If the situation in a country like USA, with all its environmental laws and regulations in place is so grim, one can imagine the electronic waste count in Third World countries.

Recycling in US

A research by US environmental Protection Agency revealed that 191 million phones were discarded in 2011. Out of these 191 million, only 35 million were recycled. To make matters worse, US has  no export-ban policy on scrap electronics. This translates in to the fact that 60% of the electronic waste is exported to countries like China and India, where environmental laws are not very strict.

Cell Phones and the Increasing Technological Waste

With the rapid technological change, experts believe that it takes 18 months for cell phones to become outdated. After that, tech-savvy people are likely to replace their old phone. This rapid transition of technologies results in higher amounts of technological waste.

Moore’s Law and Mobile Phones

Moore’s law states that the number of transistors and circuits in the world doubles after approximately every 2 years. Leading experts in the telecom industry believe that mobile phones are very much changing with the pace determined by Moore’s law. This means that the new handset models will have increasing demands and as a result, the older ones may end up in landfills.

The answer to all this is recycling. Every mobile phone company or electronics owner for that matter should play their part in properly disposing of electronics. A number of private firms are trying to promote recycling of electronics, particularly mobile phones. ‘Top Dollar Mobile’ is one such firm that operates worldwide and has taken initiatives to encourage people to properly discard their cell phones. We should all play our part to save the environment.


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