Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cell Phone Recycling


Wirefly.org are cropping up to address the huge number of cell phones that are being set aside by people who have a psychological or social need to have the latest phone.

Wirefly.org is a resource site put in place to help you make a responsible decision with regards to an unwanted phone. You can donate a phone to one of a broad list of charities. Or you can trade it for cash. Regardless of your choice, the organization the receives the phone has three paths for old phones to walk down, Reuse, Refurbishment, or Recycling.

It’s a big World out there and a phone that is several years old will suit folks in many corners of the World just fine. Mobile phone use is ubiquitous in many places that had never even developed to the point of having reliable land lines last century. It’s like they skipped a step. Pay as you go cell phones are a much more accessible, reliable and useful form of communication than land lines every could have been in many regions. Even in areas where residential electricity isn’t reliable, there are many ways to keep a phone charged. I hope to see the much reported new generation of photoelectric cells play a role in improved communication infrastructure around the World.

Old cell phones can be put to good use by domestic charities as well. Deactivated phones can serve as a lifeline for victims of violence. In North America, you can access 911 using a deactivated phone.

Many phones that are not working can be put back into service with some basic refurbishment. Some truly are toast and in those cases an environmentally responsible recycling facility is the best option. A lot of the electronics recycling burden is shipped overseas to countries that have under-regulated recycling businesses that are creating ecological disaster areas that have serious impact on human health. It’s ironic that many of the devices that are shipped to India and many African countries were put into the recycling stream by well meaning people, and in the end there old item is scrapped in a very unsafe and irresponsible manner.

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