Recycling Spotlight: Mobile Phones and Tablets

Regardless of if you are using your phone for personal or business purposes, it’s fair to say that your mobile phone or tablet contains a whole host of information that you probably wouldn’t want other people to see. From sensitive information relating to your business to online banking apps; mobile phones play host to a wide range of private personal and business information.

So, when a mobile phone reaches the end of its usable life, you want to be sure that it is disposed of in the correct way, but how can you guarantee this? Read on to find out how!

woman searching how to recycle her phone

What Are Mobile Phones Actually Made Of?

Mobile phones and tablets contain many components that can be removed and recycled – surprisingly they often contain silver and gold, as well as many other types of metals and plastics. Copper is another material that’s more commonly found in mobile phones too. All of these metals and plastics can be broken down, or melted, and reused elsewhere, so it’s important to ensure you recycle your phone with a professional.

Components of your old technology can be used to create a whole host of products; for example, it might be used to stop rusting on a boat, to create a plastic park bench or valuable hospital equipment.

Working components can also be reused and added to other devices. You’ll often find that the vast majority of phones are in working order, so things like the flash memory devices, speakers and cameras can be recycled and used in refurbishing old phones if they are still in good condition.

Almost every part of an old mobile phone can be reused and recycled. The rest should be disposed of in the correct manner in order to reduce a phone’s environmental impact.

Why Recycle Mobile Phones and Tablets?

Whilst it can be easy to simply leave all of your mobile phones collecting dust in a drawer in the office, there are a whole host of benefits recycling your mobile phone has. From obvious environmental benefits, right through to security benefits. Below you can find just a few of the main benefits recycling your mobile phone can have:

Reducing Waste

When components are reused, they won’t end up in landfill, as parts from your old phone could be used for refurbished devices, or even brand new phones when manufacturers buy old parts back.

Removing Hazards

Recycling avoids the risk of hazardous waste entering our soil and water supplies. Many phones contain dangerous chemicals that can have adverse health effects, which are slowly released to the environment as a phone breaks down.

Often, electronic devices are burned for disposal when they’re not properly recycled. Burning can release toxic fumes that are harmful when they’re inhaled, so it’s important to ensure you always get in touch with a credible office phone recycling firm.

Limiting New Production

By recycling your mobile phone, you help to reduce the demand for newly sourced materials. Old components can be reused so that new ones don’t need to be made, which is especially important where materials aren’t sustainably sourced, are scarce and might need to be mined.

young people on their phones

How Does Mobile Disposal Work?

If you’re disposing of an old mobile phone, it’s not enough to just throw it away. Our process will ensure that it’s safely recycled and go through our certified data destruction service.

Removing and Recycling Components

The vast majority of phones and tablets available on today’s market have some recoverable parts. Things like screens, cameras, circuit boards and speakers can usually be used elsewhere. Often these components, and others like memory cards, are high-value items on their own. Along with metals that can be recycled and reused, they bring value to old mobile phones.

Recycling components is good for the environment too. Recycling doesn’t just reduce waste, but also reduces the need to make even more new components. For example, a circuit board from your old phone could be used in another device, saving valuable resources that would have been wasted on making a new one.

Metals can be separated using strong magnets, or electric currents. Plastics can also be sorted, according to how they’ll be recycled. So, whether they’re broken down and recycled or reused elsewhere, there are many useful parts in mobile phones.

Safely Disposing of Batteries

Batteries are hazardous items that can’t just be thrown into landfill. These need to be recycled responsibly, reducing the risk of harm to people and wildlife.

Batteries can contain harmful chemicals, released when a battery breaks down and these chemicals can include lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium and lithium, all of which are proven to pollute the environment.

How Can You Safely Recycle a Mobile Phone or Tablet?

Many people don’t know how to safely dispose of old phones, and on the face of it, can seem easier to throw a phone away than to worry about where it ends up. But safely recycling a mobile phone isn’t as hard as it seems, just simply follow these steps to recycle your mobile phone:

Data Destruction

First, you’ll want to think about secure data destruction.

When technology has been used for business purposes, it could retain sensitive information that could be harmful for your business if it is not disposed of in the correct way. It might contain important identification, online banking passwords and private conversation histories. Your phone contains many pieces of data that shouldn’t get into the wrong hands.

If your phone or tablet is no longer in your possession, it’s important that it’s free from any private data. Professionals can remove the information from your phone, permanently and effectively. Contrary to popular belief, a factory reset isn’t secure enough where confidential details are concerned.

Man uses his phone in a lift

Breaking Down for Components

Once your phone or tablet is ready for disposal, it can be broken down. This should be done by the professionals, using professional equipment. Locations that offer corporate mobile recycling can use powerful magnets and sorters to maximise the parts that are recycled from every device.

Experts know what they’re looking for and can easily break any phone into working and non-working parts. Working components can be recycled, whilst others can be melted or crushed, ready to be reused. Very few parts of a phone will need to simply be thrown away.

Is There an Even Easier Way to Recycle Mobile Phones and Tablets?

Once your mobile phone or tablet reaches the end of its life, you should definitely consider contacting asset disposal professionals. This is especially important for businesses looking to dispose of large quantities of technology at once, as the team here at ICT Reverse are capable of completely wiping all of your business phones’ data, putting your mind at rest.

Why not contact us to ensure that you leave your technology in trusted hands for every step of the process disposal process, from data destruction through to the final eco-friendly disposal.