Somewhere between twenty and fifty million tons of electronic waste, including old cell phones, is generated worldwide each and every year, according to Greenpeace International, with more than four and a half million landing up in landfills in the United States alone, which makes the moves toward finding ways toward the recycling of used cell phones and other electrical equipment so important, particularly when the improper disposal of these items can lead to dangerous toxins such as cadmium, lead and mercury polluting both the air and the soil of the world around us.
This story was first published in 2008 and then again in 2009; I want to use it to bring attention to the importance of responsible cell phone recycling and proper disposal of electronic waste.
This week saw the Mobile World Congress 2011 taking place in Barcelona. Bigger than ever before, there were over 200 countries and 1,400 mobile industry-related companies represented, including Twitter, AT&T, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and Yahoo!
Users of wireless cell phones in the United States of America are being hit with record taxes which account for almost twenty percent of their actual cell phone bill. PCMag.com says that those living in Nebraska, New York and Washington are being particularly slugged in fees and taxes. A report published in the magazine entitled “A Growing Burden: Taxes and Fees On Wireless Services”, was compiled over a period of no less than five years by tax experts from KSE Partners, who spent that time monitoring the local, state and federal taxes being imposed on wireless cell phones customers. In the three year period between 2007 and 2010, those taxes and fees jumped upward by more than three times that of the retails sales rate.
The first cell phone recycling scheme ever to be launched in Kenya is about to get underway courtesy of collaboration between cell phone service provider Safaricom and Computers for Schools Kenya (CSK), which runs a recycling scheme for computers in the country.
The recycling of old cell phones and other electrical equipment is on the rise in the city of Ottawa in the Canadian province of Ontario, much to the delight of officials. During the Ontario Electronic Stewardship’s mobile e-drive, which was held during last fall, the city of Ottawa collected more used cell phones and other electrical waste products than any other municipality in Ontario.
EcoATM, the company that runs kiosks which allow consumers to dump their old cell phones and other electronics in order for them to be recycled, is expanding its operations. The company has just received almost fourteen and a half million dollars from Coinstar and Claremont Creek Ventures via a Series A funding round for start up companies and intends to start setting up its kiosks in gas stations and supermarkets. The kiosks use artificial intelligence, electronics diagnostics and machine vision to identify the old cell phone or other electrical item being offered for recycle, wipe any personal information they may still contain and then offer the recycler compensation in the form of either cash, a coupon, a gift card or a donation to a charity.
A teenager trying to buy an old cell phone via internet website craigslist has been murdered by the man supposedly selling the phone. In a shocking incident in Hazel Park in Detroit in the US, nineteen year old Johnathan Clements placed an ad on the internet site indicating that he was looking to buy an old cell phone. A man responded, indicating he was willing to sell the used cell phone for ninety five dollars, and the two arranged to meet at Clements’ house – only for the man to produce a gun and shoot Clements, stealing the ninety five dollars before fleeing the scene.
Sunnking Electronics and eScrap Recycling, a recycling company based in Brockport which deals with old cell phones and other out of date electronics, have teamed up with the charity known as Foodlink in a bid to help them continue to feed the needy in the county of Rochester and other surrounding areas.
Does your cell phone have near field communications (NFC) capability? If it doesn’t, you might want to consider ensuring that your next one does.