Despite the rise in mobile phone recycling websites, take-back schemes in major electronics stores and even doorstep recycling of old phones, it seems that recycling rates are still low.
Retrevo, a consumer electronics website based in California, has recently carried out a survey called ‘The Gadget Census Report’.
7,500 were surveyed and it was found that 60% of consumers still don’t recycle their old mobile phones, computers, printers and TVs. According to the survey there were various reasons for people not bothering to recycle. 25% of those surveyed said that they just ‘didn’t get around to it’. Other reasons given were inconvenience and a lack of knowledge. 11% said there were a lack of programmes for recycling in their area and 7% said that they simply didn’t care about recycling.
Most mobile phone providers now offer free take-back recycling schemes. Jenni Chun, the associate manager of Sustainability for LG Electronics says that all the information is online and there’s no excuse for customers to
claim they are not aware of such schemes. She admits it’s not easy to change people’s attitudes though. In reality, when customers see recycling bins in mobile phone shops, their old phone isn’t in their pocket – its sitting
at home gathering dust.
So it seems all the provisions are there for us to make mobile phone recycling easier than it’s ever been. It really is each person’s responsbility to ensure we take advantage of the various methods for recycling so that
our old phones don’t get sent to landfill. According to Retrevo, by the end of the year, there will be enough e-waste to cover Manhatten Island up to three feet deep in old electronics.