We are constantly replacing our cell phones. So much so that the average lifespan of a smartphone is only two years. Given the rate at which new mobile technology is being introduced to the market (it seems like every day, doesn’t it?), this stat makes a lot of sense. Sometimes old devices wind up in the bottom of a drawer and gather dust for a while. But sooner or later, we all know their eventual resting place: the trash.
To highlight the growing problem that is electronic waste (e-waste), we’ve compiled our top four reasons why you should recycle your old cell phone instead of throwing it out.
By recycling, you’re keeping toxic e-waste from increasing to 65.4 million metric tons by 2017. That’s like saving 200 Empire State Buildings from rotting in a landfill.
When you recycle or repair your device, you’re helping keep 50 million metric tons of hazardous waste from seeping into our water. Over time, toxic chemicals leach into the land or are released into the atmosphere, impacting nearby communities and the environment.
Smartphones are made from precious metals including gold and silver. When you recycle your old phone, you will have helped save over $60 million worth of gold, silver, and other precious metals from being dumped in a landfill.
Because only about 13% of the world’s e-waste is recycled, millions of metric tons of e-waste end up in some of the world’s most impoverished communities, where its inhabitants are responsible for disposing of it. This includes dismantling and/or burning these devices, which can lead to toxic chemical poisoning and other serious health issues.
As you can see, e-waste is a vast problem that affects the entire globe. You might think that you won’t be making much of a difference by recycling your phone. Nothing could be further from the truth. By recycling just one device—your device—you’re doing your part to curb the flow of e-waste from becoming even worse.
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