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Throw-Away Culture Needs to Change

Throw-Away Culture Needs to Change

We have reached the threshold of our throw-away culture at which we cannot simply continue those habits without a proper judgment call. As our environment suffers from rapidly expanding landfills, groundwater poisoning and acid rain, the least we can do is reduce our impact. One way to act is by recycling your old mobile phone.

While old cell phones might seem worthless when everyone is eager to acquire all the latest models, there is actually quite a high demand for them. For instance, the object of many recycling companies is to salvage bits of usable minerals and precious metals, such as gold wire inlays and battery nickel, and rework them for other purposes. This might include jewelry manufacture or creation of other electronic products. Plastic parts can be melted down and used to create new mobile phone encasings, if not other items. For enterprises like this, even broken phones have plenty of value -- the way junked cars provide valuable "parts" resources.

Developing countries and low-income areas also have a high demand for old mobile phones -- where people care less about having the latest model, and more about having a functioning phone. Many programs exist providing old mobiles at either free or reduced costs for certain demographics. If your phone is old but still functional, it may be well-suited for this type of mobile phone recycling.

Electronic waste is one of the leading sources of toxic waste. Dangerous substances such as battery acid leach down into the earth, poisoning our groundwater and providing cause for acid rain, while exposed wiring poses risk for lead poisoning or electrocution of wildlife. Facing these outcomes, it becomes clear that most products have not been designed with enough environmental foresight. It should have been obvious enough that tons of plastic cutlery and consumer waste would pile up, but in the meantime we can only compensate for these past mistakes, and plan for a more sustainable future.

If you have an old mobile lying around in a box somewhere at home, you could do some good: either by providing someone else with a mobile or by clearing up unneeded debris -- both in your home and in a landfill. The "throw-away" culture does not need to remain the status quo. Recycling your old mobile is one step towards changing it.

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