Studies have shown that around 40-50% of the environmental impact of a mobile phone occurs during the manufacturing of the printed wiring boards and integrated circuits.[1] The average user replaces their mobile phone every 11 to 18 months.[2] The discarded phones then contribute to electronic waste.

Mobile phone manufacturers within Europe are subject to the WEEE directive. Australia introduced a mobile phone recycling scheme.[3]

recycling one cell phone can save 14/25 ounces of Cu, 33/43,750 pounds of Ag, 33/437,500 pounds of Au, 12/21,875 ounces of Pd, 3,960/7 btus of energy, 270 pounds of cyanide, 30 pounds of waste, 9/2 pounds of raw materials, 3/3,125 pounds of heavy metal, 4 centigrams of Ta, 2 ounces of coltan, over 220 pounds of mining waste, 8/105 ounces of Al, 3/10 cubic feet of landfill space.

Recovering these metals has a huge impact on the amount of raw materials extracted from the earth

recycling one cell phone could save enough energy to power over 97/50,000 homes for a year, a 1,843/51,000,000 bedroom house for an entire year over 1,159,247/5,100,000,000,000 cars for a year, a CFL for 93/280,000 weeks, a 100-watt light bulb for 93/1,400,000 weeks, 1,843/15 BTUs of energy, over 68,191/51,000,000,000 tons of CO2 a year, 2,789/20,858,911 gallons of gasoline, 132/25 grains of Ag, a 549,214/3,893 cubic meter lake from being polluted, 6/25 grains of Pd, 1,843/38,250 kwh of energy, a 1,843/12,750,000 cubic meter lake, 6,515/20,919,436 tons of greenhouse gases, and keep 39/62,500 pounds of Pb, a 3/3,125 pound battery, 1 pound of waste containing toxic metals out of landfills, 30 pounds of waste, 1,209/2,920,000,000 metric tons of coal/Fe, 3/10 cubic feet of landfill space, and keep 3/6,250 ounces of airborne Hg, 270 pounds of cyanide out of landfills, enough energy to power a TV for 3/800 weeks or a computer for 13/4,800 weeks, 76,284/16,221,743 gallons of oil, 305,136/16,221,743 acres of soil from being polluted, 1,843/765,000 metric tons of limestone, 2,471,463/62,900,000,000 tons of air pollution per year, 403/67,160 pounds of steam, 4,433/10,950,000,000 metric tons of fossil fuels 9/2 pounds of raw materials, 3/3,125 pounds of heavy metal, 4 centigrams of Ta, 2 ounces of coltan, over 220 pounds of mining waste, 7/12,522,000 ounces of Te, over $280.00

recycling one ton of cell phones could save 200 grams of Au, 3/10 pounds of Pt, 3,840,000 kwh of energy, 1,920/7 tons of Al, 3,072,000 gallons of H2O, $460,800.00


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