It seems that almost everyone owns a cell phone these days, even those in developing countries that never had access to the infrastructure of a land line¹.
Cell phones help to keep us connected to one another in a busy world, and they can save our lives in an emergency situation. They have revolutionized our personal communication and are even shaping the way that businesses are being run in our world today.
However, with all of the cell phones that are being used globally, and with all of the constantly changing technology and our continual upgrading to new phones, our beloved cell phones have become big problems in the waste stream.
Like many other electronic devices, cell phones contain many components that are made of toxic chemicals such as heavy metals. Cell phones in the waste stream can slowly leak corrosive chemicals into soil and water. Nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead can leach poisons and take 20 or more years to break down. Lithium, the main ingredient in cell phone batteries, can harm both the nervous system and vital organs, and nickel, cadmium and silver have been linked to similar effects².
While one cell phone in the trash may not be a big problem, millions of these devices pose a significant problem to both our health and the environment².
Not only are these trashed cell phones a big source of pollution, but it is also wasteful not to reuse the metals and the other materials that these phones contain.
Realizing that discarded cell phones have become a problem in the waste stream, many companies and organizations have developed collection programs that recycle these old cell phones into new cell phones and other electronic devices.
Some of the best cell phone collection programs for consumers are cell phone buyback programs, where you actually get paid to recycle your old cell phones! How great is it that you can earn money for recycling something that you had to get rid of anyway?
Cell phone buyback programs can be found at carrier outlets, retail stores, and online. One of the most well-known online cell phone buyback programs out there is Gazelle.com, which allows you to ship your phone to them for free and offers a quick payout. Other companies that offer cell phone buyback programs include Boost Mobile, Buy Back World, and Pacebutler.