One of the most serious and growing environmental concerns is that of the mounting problem of industrial waste; it is a problem that has grown with the rise in personal electronics, most obviously, mobile phones. This is why it is important to recycle mobile phones.
Most people have never recycled a mobile phone which has reached the end of its lifespan. Despite the fact that this service is completely free (in some cases, recyclers will even pay for mobiles), it seems many people still opt for the quick solution of simply throwing their old mobile phones in the bin.
Data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that, in 2005 alone, discarded electronic products, including mobile phones, amounted to from 1.9 to 2.2 million tonnes.
Of that, a staggering 80-90% ended up as waste in landfills, with only a few thousand tonnes of discarded electronic products ever being recycled.
It is important, however, that mobile phones and other electronic products are recycled at the end of their lifespans; due to the low costs of electronic products, which have dropped sharply in recent years, mobile phone technology has become available to everyone.
Indeed, 85% of adults in the UK are mobile phone users, while 4 out of 5 children own a mobile phone before the time they are 11 years of age.
Due to some people owning multiple mobile phones, there actually more mobile phones in use in the UK than there are people. Obviously, this has had a great impact on the volume of electronic waste being produced.
This is exacerbated by the rapid nature of technological development, which, coupled with planned obsolescence, leads to mobile phones often being replaced within a year or less of first being purchased. The effect of this is that electronic waste is increasingly an environmental problem.
There exist, however, a number of websites on which it is possible to recycle mobile phones.