We have been referred to as a “disposable” society, desiring objects we can get rid of easily. Unfortunately, this type of thinking has negatively affected our environment, so the push to recycle as much as possible has intensified.
Normally, when we think of recycling, we think of separating paper, plastic and other materials so that they can be taken to recycling centers and processed for reuse. However, when it comes to electronic items, we may be at a loss as to what to do with them.
This can be especially true of cell phones. It seems that a company comes out with a new model practically every day. Some people are content to keep their simple, easy-to-use phone, but others want one with all the bells and whistles every time a new phone hits the market, resulting in a lot of waste.
However, just because a cell phone is no longer the latest model doesn’t mean it's disposable. When you also consider the fact that cell phones contain batteries, metal and other parts that can be dangerous if not disposed of properly, the need to find a safe means of recycling becomes important.
Fortunately, many businesses and organizations are starting to participate in phone recycling programs. These programs can work in several ways.
Bring in Your Old Phone
Some phone recycling programs have you bring in your old models. The phones are then taken to a recycling center where the batteries can be removed and disposed of safely and the plastic and other parts recycled for use in building new phones or other products.
Used Phone Sales
Other phone recycling programs take in old, used cell phones and wipe the memory clean, basically resetting the phone. Sometimes this is as simple as removing an old SIM card and inserting a new one. The phone is then ready to either be given away or resold as a used or reconditioned product.
Safety Programs Through Law Enforcement
When law enforcement agencies participate in phone recycling programs, they usually make the phones available to women who are in shelters for battered or abused women. The phones have very limited services; in fact, they may only be designed for outgoing calls. This makes it harder to “trace” the number, affording women a measure of protection. Even if this is the case, the women on this program still have a way to call for emergency assistance when needed. Additionally, they can maintain contact with family members, friends, law enforcement and others who can help.
You can learn more about phone recycling programs by contacting your local law enforcement agency or community organizations that serve those who may need a cell phone for personal protection and security.
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