Americans are discarding about 130 million cell phones a year, and that means 65,000 tons of trash, including toxic metals and other health hazards. Because these devices are so small, their environmental impacts might appear to be minimal, but the growth in cell phone use has been so enormous that the environmental and public health impacts of the waste they create are a significant concern.
A study by Bette Fishbein of Inform, an environmental research organization, states that on average a cell phone is kept only 18 months and in many cases thrown into a closet or drawer and finally discarded with the household garbage.
Cell phones contain persistent and bio-accumulative toxic chemicals (PBTs) that are linked to cancer and a host of neurological, reproductive, and developmental disorders. Their components include arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, and brominated flame retardants.
"It should be noted that these substances are not known to pose threats to the environment or public health while the devices are being used," said Fishbein. "Rather, their hazardous effects occur downstream - when they are incinerated or disposed of in landfills."
Our Cell Phone Recycling Program offers the community an opportunity to help the environment by donating and/or raising money through cell phone recycling drives. Businesses, schools, charities and consumers are welcome to participate.
Support cell phone recycling efforts by selecting an option below......
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