Cell Phone E-Waste in the USA

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Last updated April 12, 2019

In a report by the Electronics Take Back Coalition, it was estimated that 126.3 million cell phones were put into the trash while only 14 million were recycled. That’s a recycling rate of 10% – and it is not very good. It was also pointed out that 68% of American consumers stockpile unwanted electrical equipment in their homes. The question is why?

Billions of Cell Phones Sold

In 2009, 1.21 billion cell phones were sold worldwide, this include 172 million smartphones. By the end of 2008, there were four billion cell phone users worldwide. With the average handset lasting approximately 18 months, think about the tremendous numbers of cell phones either sitting unused in a box, drawer, or cabinet or, worse yet, finding its way into a trash can and landfill.

Cell Phone Recycling

When recycled, one ton used cell phones can yield around $15,000 in precious metals, including silver, gold, palladium, and copper. Recycling these metals from old cell phones rather than mining uses a fraction of the energy. Recycling old cell phones also allows perfectly good phones no longer wanted a continuation of their usefulness. Many older working cell phones find new life in poorer countries like Nigeria.

Recycling Your Cell for Cash

As our reliance upon cell phones and smartphones continues to grow, our desire to invest in the latest technology grows as well. In order to prevent the overwhelming amount of toxic waste unwanted cell phones can potentially create, it is not only beneficial to recycle your cell for cash, it is the responsible thing to do.