The average mobile phone will work for about seven years, but worldwide the average consumer gets a new phone every 11 months. According to Sprint, Americans discard 16,000 mobile phones every hour. Over 90 per cent of materials in mobile phones can be recovered such as nickel, cadmium, cobalt, gold, silver, copper, plastics and other metals. These materials can be used in jewelry, electronics and car parts.
Sprint hopes to keep phones from ending up in landfills. Project Connect will take your unwanted mobile phones, batteries, chords, earphones, accessories, data cards and even instruction manuals. It doesn’t matter what make, model, carrier the phone is, or what condition it’s in. Proceeds from equipment collected will fund free Internet safety resources for kids.
To recycle your phone or whatever else you have lying around, you can pick up a postage-paid envelope at a Sprint store. It doesn’t have to be a Sprint phone for you to participate, and you don’t even have to step into a Sprint store if you don’t want to, you can print off a pre-paid shipping label on Sprint’s website.
Sprint will refurbish whatever parts they can so the equipment can be used again. Whatever is non-recoverable is recycled for base materials. Sprint also has a buy-back program which can be used toward the purchase of a new Sprint phone. According to their website, they’ve recycled over 16 million phones. PR stint or not, it’s a great way to get rid of the spare chords and old phones you’ve got shoved into a drawer somewhere.
Photo: Technology Review