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Cash for Recycling: You Cannot Be Serious

Posted by Mike October - 25 - 2012 - Thursday

Yes, the serious money is on recycling old, redundant mobile phone handsets. Even the latest Smartphones are being recycled at a rapidly expanding rate of knots. As increasing numbers of consumers change their phones more frequently, an entire industry has sprung up to deal with the increasing ‘mobile phone mountain.’

Mobile mountain 447x319 Cash for Recycling: You Cannot Be Serious
Photo: techdigest.tv

The Mobile Mountain Is a Big Problem Worldwide

With over two billion mobile handsets sold in the world in 2011, that number is poised to increase when figures are eventually available for 2012. These numbers and the increasing ease with which modern consumer electronics and electrical equipment have been replaced over the past three decades or so has created a potential environmental ticking time bomb.

Consumers can now sell Blackberry Bold 9900 and other make-and-model handsets for cash when, at one point, they would have just thrown them away. The WEEE regulations of 2007, or to give it its full title the Waste and Electronic Equipment legislation of 2007, was introduced to combat the growing problem of toxic material ending up in landfill.

So What Is the Problem?

All items of electronic equipment have toxic substances as elements of the manufacturing process. Lead, bromine, mercury, and cadmium are just a few examples, and these pose a grave danger to the environment if they are allowed to seep into ground water tables. The WEEE regulations now classify all consumer electrical and electronic equipment as hazardous waste.

Where it was once permissible to discard such equipment into landfill by way of regular waste collections, it is now illegal to do so. Over time, the potential for environmental catastrophe was exponentially increasing. The evidence is available in countries such as China, the former Soviet Union and several African nations of what happens with uncontrolled and unlicensed dumping of toxic substances.

With these regulations in place, the requirement for retailers and manufacturers to have a duty of care to their customers, suppliers, and agents is now mandatory. All handlers of old and redundant electronic and electrical equipment have to be duly licensed by the Environment Agency to collect, transport, handle, and dispose of electronic and electrical equipment regardless of the age of the devices or equipment. And from this the consumer is a winner. Whereas in the past they would have received nothing for their old phones, now everything has a price.

Now consumers can get a price for their electronic equipment, with the age, type, and condition it is in dictating the price it will fetch. Once the equipment is collected (free of charge) and processed by the carrier or recycler, you get paid a fee for each item collected. These items will be restored, reconditioned, and sold onto a burgeoning second-hand market, or they will be recycled down to their component elements and reprocessed by manufacturers.

Have a hunt around your home, office or garage today; you’ll be surprised just how much money you’ve got tied up in old games consoles, mobile phones, and other electronic equipment.

Graham Green is a freelance writer and gadget groupie and has recently been investigating how consumers can sell Blackberry Bold 9900 handsets and others to make a little money on redundant technology.

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