A cell phone is a small handheld device that is designed to make phone calls using the cellular network. It does not require a standard phone network to operate, buts uses a wireless system of towers to send and receive signalsl. Today, most cell phones are equipped with other features such as cameras, internet access and Bluetooth technology. Modern smartphones also have storage for photos, music, videos and “apps” such as games and organizational tools. Most people will own anywhere from 2 up to 50 cell phones in their lifetime. With the staggering amount of cell phones being thrown out the world over it only make sense to recycle them to stop them becoming landfill. So how are cell phones recycled? Read on to find out.
How Cell Phones Are Recycled
The first step of cell phone recycling is collection. Many places such as malls and libraries have cell phone recycling bins. These are collected and taken to a recycling facility and sorted to separate the chargers from the phones. Any phones that are in working order and are good quality are tested, wiped of personal data and cleaned for resale. These cell phones are often given to charities and nonprofit organizations. The other cell phones are stripped for parts. These parts are used in the refurbishment of cell phones or are used to create new phones. If a cell phone is unsalvageable they are sent to a smelting factory. Here cell phones are melted down using very high temperatures to extract the precious metals such as gold, silver and copper used in the construction of cell phones.
The batteries and the chargers are dealt with separately. The chargers are stripped of the copper wiring used and the plastic housing melted down to make new plastic products. Batteries have to be dealt with in a special way as they contain poisonous substances such as mercury and cadmium.