Smartphones have changed the world in innumerable ways. From healthcare, to road trips, to what you eat, it seems that no area of life has been left untouched by this remarkable technology. Unfortunately, the prevalence of smartphones, such as the iPhone 5S 16GB, has led to an ever-increasing amount of electronic waste.
This waste, when handled improperly, leads to the pollution of the air, soil, and water wherever it’s disposed of. That’s why it is so important that smartphone owners make it their responsibility to ensure that their phones are disposed of properly when they reach the end of their useful life. Failure to do so could have devastating effects on the environment, both now and in the future.
The best thing that can happen to a phone when it reaches its end-of-life is for it to be recycled. This practice is worlds better than simply tossing the phone into the trash, allowing it to rot away in a landfill, not to mention throwing your devices away is illegal in some areas. However, as great as recycling is, even better is to try and find another use for your device prior to sending it off to be recycled.
For example, perhaps your iPhone 5S 16GB no longer meets your needs for speed or storage. However, for someone else, this phone could be a major technological upgrade. Therefore, it’s worth it to try and sell your current device to someone else, which will allow it to be used longer and save the energy required to recycle it.
If you can’t find a buyer for your phone, there are many services that allow you to donate your phone so it can be repurposed into an emergency-only phone for someone in need. In either case, you are keeping your phone out of the landfill and preventing a lot of energy from being used in order to recycle it.
All Roads Lead to the Same Place
Ultimately, though, every smartphone will reach the end of the road at some point. Perhaps you were a benefactor of someone else’s foresight and are in possession of an outdated smartphone. Or, perhaps you were unlucky and dropped your phone, smashing the screen and damaging its internal components. Whatever the case, if you are in possession of a non-working phone, it’s time to determine how best to recycle it.
Fortunately, many options exist.
One option is to seek out a recycling program that’s connected to the business from which you obtained your phone. Most major electronics manufacturers also have a fairly robust electronics recycling program to which you can contribute. In some cases, you can even receive a small amount of money for your device that can go toward the purchase of a new phone.
Another option is to send in your phone to be recycled. Many companies that buy older devices also have a recycling program for devices that lack any inherent value. Of course, it’s best to pursue this option only if no local options exist, since pollution will be created through the shipment of the phone to the recycling center. However, this option is still far better than simply sending the device to a landfill.
A third option is to seek out a local recycling center. Many municipalities offer electronics recycling programs alongside their other recycling programs. Typically, you can drop off a select number of devices to have them recycled for free. In some cities, there also exist private businesses that also recycle electronics. Since these businesses profit from the sale of the electronic components, you can typically recycle as many items as you’d like, all for free.
In any event, it’s important to ensure the option you select utilizes safe and ethical practices to ensure proper disposal of all components of the phone. You don’t want the components to simply be shipped off to another country that lacks the stringent environmental regulations we enjoy here. Instead, you want to be sure to utilize a company that utilizes every component of the devices you recycle, without shipping the problems somewhere else. In this way, you ensure that your devices find a new life and that you preserve the environment for future generations.