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Miami, Ft Lauderdale Waste Recycling

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Though the number of consumers who recycle old cellphones is increasing, most recyclable electronics are disposed of in landfills.  Due to the high household turnover of electronics, cellphones are an excellent resource for recycling.

Cellphones contain precious metals, copper, and plastics.  It takes a large amount of energy to mine and manufacture these materials.

Of the cellphones available to be recycled, approximately 80 percent go to landfills.

The average lifespan of a cellphone is about 18 months. With cellphone recycling only now gaining popular practice, there is a potentially large number of old cellphones being stored in people’s homes that could be recycled.

Metals recovered from cellphones can be used in a variety of ways, including parts for other electronics, automobiles, jewelry, and plating.

Plastics recovered from cellphones can be used in garden furniture, license plate frames, and non-food containers.

Reducing the need for manufacturing new phones also decreases the amount of packaging produced, such as cardboard boxes, paper manuals, and protective plastic.


Cellphone accessories are also valuable recyclable materials.  Old chargers, headsets, and batteries can also be recycled.

In addition to reducing the negative environmental impact, cellphone recycling programs can be equally beneficial to retailers and consumers.  The value of a refurbished or reused phone is significant and close to the value of a new phone.

After a trade-in, donate the old phone to a charity or school.  Also consider selling the old cellphone to another individual who may be looking to upgrade.

Plan ahead when purchasing a new cellphone.  Carriers often restrict a consumer’s ability to change carriers for a year or more. This means moving to a different carrier may result a new cellphone purchase.  Upgrading only when needed and staying with the same provider increases the lifecycle of a cellphone.

Follow your manufacturers instructions for charging your phone’s battery.  Extended battery life equals extended cellphone life.

Consider starting a school or church fundraiser for collection of recyclable cellphones.  Many local companies and retailers are willing to assist with the program or donate funds in support of the recycling effort.


Processors may send the phone to a smelter to be crushed, grinded, and melted. Any precious metals are reclaimed and hazardous contents are disposed of.

Other processors “de-manufacture” the phone by disassembling it.  Recovery of reusable or recyclable parts increases with this type of processing.  Parts like screens, touchpads, and processing chips can be reclaimed for reuse.

Some phones and accessories can also be refurbished, as opposed to being sent for recycling.  Refurbishing includes testing the phone for functionality and removing data.  Some plastic parts and other cosmetic changes may be made as well.


Retailers, service providers, and charities are increasing the ease and convenience of recycling old cellphones.  Many service providers even offer special programs, discounts, and other incentives to encourage recycling.

Drop-off centers or bins are available at many of these local stores.  Other retailers may offer a mail-in program as well.


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