With newer models emerging everyday people are always on the race to get the hottest model on the market, replacing their phones every 18 to 24 months. In the case of cell phone what that means is new cell phone in, old cell phone out. The question is what happens to that out cell phone after you get that upgrade? Maybe they get donated or maybe they end up in a landfill somewhere, left to pollute the Earth with hazardous materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants and arsenic, and in the end amounting close to about 65,000 tons of waste . The truth of the matter is, a consumer who upgrades their phone doesn't really know, so the best thing they can do is to take the matter into their own hands: recycle their own cell phone.
Luckily their are alternatives to having this happen. Americans can either have their phones recycles by an electronics recycling company or donate them to a non profit organization that allows poorer citizens to be able to have cell phones. Call2Recycle is a non profit organization that allows consumers and retailers to find drop box in their area where they can recycle their old cell phones. Many people are taking part in this including major electronics retailers, such as Radio Shack and Office Depot. Call2Recycle recovers the phones and sells them back to manufacturers, which either refurbish and resell them or recycle their parts for use in making new products. Another organization called the Collective Goods organization takes donated cell phones, refurbishes them and then re-sells them to distributors for use primarily in developing countries to afford communication for poorer citizens. Another organization, ReCellular, works along with major cell phone companies such as Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, tries to get their customers to change their attitudes about recycling to a point where it's just a natural thought.
In my opinion I think that these organizations are doing a great thing. Cell phones are thing that are constantly getting updated and older models basically have no use. The organizations are putting them to use instead of having them take up space in land fills where they could be potentially dangerous. I like the idea of refurbishing them and distributing them to less fortunate people in countries unable to afford communication means that the US has. It shows that we are able to make use of these old cell phones and give them to some one who can use them. We're not just trying to make money off of them, it's going somewhere for a good cause. I also like that by doing that, they're building a communication bridge between the people of different societies.
There are many things out there that we throw away that can be put to good use. This made me realize all the things that can be recycles, such as old TV's, movies, books, furniture, all of which are good use to others yet we just throw them away. I'm sure if people just look into ways to recycle them, just as we do with salvation army and goodwill, we can find ways to donate items of great value to others. "One person's trash is another person's treasure." I never realized how true that quote was and with the help of people we can provide people with their "treasure."