June 28, 2011

Help soldiers overseas by recycling your old cell phone

More often than not, used cell phones live in a child’s toy box, a forgotten drawer, or in the worst case, they get thrown into the garbage and pollute our landfills with toxic substances that seep into our land and water supply. Why should we allow this to happen when cell phones and palm-sized inkjet cartridges can be recycled?

As a consumer-oriented society, our used cell phones are often still in perfectly good working order, we have simply bought the newest version because it offers features that our previous cell phone did not. Our used cell phones can be recycled in two different manners. If the cell phone is still in working order, it can be flash stripped of its memory, then retooled (so that the outside is brand new, but the insides remain intact). These products are typically resold in the US as pre-paid phones. If the technology is older, the phone might be sold to a country where that type of technology is currently being used.

Old cell phones and palm-sized inkjet cartridges that are no longer working are actually “end-of-life-recycled” in a certified recycling center. This is because not only do used cell phones contain eight toxic elements, but they also contain small amounts of precious metals that can be reclaimed in the recycling process. This helps the environment in two different ways. We aren’t polluting the landfills and we don’t have to mine the earth for precious metals, we can reuse or “reclaim” those that are contained in cell phones that no longer work.

So please drop off your “old” phones into the collection box at JCU MailCenter in the Administration Building and put them to good use. The money collected from the recycling will be used to send needed items to our soldiers overseas.