Mobile Phones Recycling: Process to Recycle and Ways to Dispose

The world has evolved in so many ways, and part of that evolvement is how we communicate. Gone are the days of sending letters to a friend across the sea and waiting for weeks before we get a reply.

Today, with just a mobile phone, you can reach anywhere in the world. This makes life easier for many people. And this has been the reason a lot of people have fallen in love with mobile phones.

However, beyond this ease, we need to consider the aftermath of these mobile phones. When they stop functioning, what do you do to them? Can you recycle them? Is there even something like mobile phone recycling?

Well, you will get to know all this in this post. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in.

Mobile Phone Recycling: What Does it Mean?

This might be the first time you come across the term “mobile phone recycling,” but this does not mean it doesn’t happen. Mobile phone recycling is the process of repurposing the materials of your mobile phones into something else. Just like the way other products are being recycled, you can also recycle your mobile phones.

If you think about it, your mobile phones have different materials. An average mobile phone has plastic, aluminum, lead, or metal materials. all these are capable of recycling. So, it is better to toss them in the recycling bin.

However, recycling mobile phones does not mean making a new mobile phone out of the old one. It simply means extracting some of the material of the old mobile phones to make other things. So, unlike paper, where you recycle it and still get papers with low fiber, recycling phones does not come this way. Simply put, you can’t recycle mobile phones to get another mobile phone. You can only recycle mobile phones to make prudent use of the materials of the mobile phone.

This should, in no way, discourage you from recycling your mobile phones. Even though it is made into another thing, recycling is still of major help to the environment.

By doing this, you are saving the environment and keeping everyone safe again.

Step By Step Process of Mobile Phones Recycling

Recycling mobile phones come easy, but you have to know the steps to take before this becomes possible. If you want to recycle your mobile phones, there are some things you should do first.

First, you have to remove your pin or passwords on the phone. If you have your accounts logged in, you should log out everything. Ensure you delete all confidential information on your phone. You should also remove the sim cards and the batteries. You can keep your sim card, but the batteries? Simply attach it behind your mobile phones.

Once you have done this, then you are good to go.  The recycling process can now begin. So, what are the steps to recycling your mobile phones?

1. The Initial Stage

This is the first step to recycling. In many cases, recyclers try to separate mobile phones. For the ones that can still be used, they may send it out. Probably to some developing nations. For others, they keep them and begin recycling.

Here, what they do is to detach the batteries and give them out. The batteries are often sent to departments that recycle batteries. After this, recyclers begin to shred the mobile phones. After these, they heat the shredded phones. The temperature may be as high as 1100C. This is the first stage.

2. The Follow-Up

After heating the shredded mobile phones, recyclers process the mobile phone’s outcome using some powerful chemicals. This often results in reducing mobile phones to dust.

After this, they dust taken to the smelter. Here, the recyclers use some recycling procedures to extract important metal products. These metal materials are repurposed into other things.

For the plastic materials, the recyclers make use of incineration energy. These plastic materials are granulated and formed into other materials.

3. The Final Stage

After removing these different materials, manufacturers then transport them to their different departments. Here they are used to make different things for reuse. If they are used to make things that will come in contact with edibles, they are first detoxified. This way, there is no possibility of harm to anyone.

So, that’s the step by step process of recycling your mobile phones.

Why Recycling Mobile Phones is Important?

One may think that recycling mobile phones is a bit too nasty. Well, if you are thinking this way, you are mistaken. While you might not have heard the reasons for recycling other materials, there are reasons for that for mobile phones.

You may ask why then is recycling mobile phones important? Here’s why:

1. Saves Resources

Let’s be honest; recycling anything out there saves a lot of resources. For mobile phones, this is even more important. The making of mobile phones requires a lot of resources. And the process of getting these resources damage the environment. For instance, you have to mine before you get some of these materials. without a doubt, mining can have long term effects on the environment.

So, by recycling the old mobile phone, you are saving the environment.

2. Saves Energy

Think about the millions of mobile phones that are being produced yearly. Their production requires a lot of energy. This already takes a whole lot of energy. By recycling your old phone, you can save energy in many ways.

Indeed, you cannot recycle your old phones and get a new one. So, you might want to ask, how do you save energy with this? Well, it is possible. For other materials that are used for mobile phones, you can save energy on them.

For instance, instead of spending the whole time and energy producing plastic materials or metals, the ones extracted from mobile phones can be used. That way, the energy exerted to produce plastic and metal materials are being cut down reasonably. If you think that more than a hundred million mobile phones are abandoned each year, you will understand why this makes sense.

The bottom line is that by recycling your mobile phone, you are saving energy.

3. Saving The Environment

Generally, recycling helps a lot with saving the environment. For mobile phones, the story is not different. By recycling mobile phones, you are helping to save the environment.

More than a hundred million mobile phones end up being abandoned and probably ends up in the landfill. This alone points to the fact that recycling mobile phones would reduce the pressure on landfills.

Aside from this, there is the environmental angle. Mobile phones often contain some materials that are not great for the environment. An average mobile phone can contain plastic, lead, aluminum, and metal materials. all these materials have different impacts on the environment.

For instance, plastic has a toxic impact on the environment. They take hundreds of years to decompose, and when they fall apart, they don’t vanish from the environment. They only become microplastics which remain in the soil for another length of years. With leads, the problem is similar. Lead, too, may leach into the environment. This leaching could cause great harm to the environment. For iron materials, no one can argue differently. Though iron will break down, when they do, they also remain in the soil. The soil does not take in iron materials.

All these and many more point to the fact that mobile phones in the environment are bad. They can even be washed to the sea, where aquatic animals can eat them up. This would cause harm to them too.


4 Simple Ways To Dispose of Old Mobile Phones

For many people, this question is a priority to them. You often wonder how you dispose of your mobile phones. This is even important when you consider the environmental impacts of these mobile phones. So, in a nutshell, you must dispose of them properly. Here’s how to do that.

1. Give Them Out

This is one of the easiest ways to dispose of your mobile phones. You can give it out to people. If your kids are old enough to use mobile phones, you can pass it on to them. You can give it out to your colleagues or family members that need mobile phones. If your neighbor also needs it, you can decide to give it to your neighbor. The choice is always yours.

However, before you give out your mobile phones, ensure that they can still function properly. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by giving out faulty mobile phones. So, always double-check your mobile phone’s current state.

2. Give It Out To Charity

How best to contribute to humanity that giving out to charity? You don’t have to have billions in your account before you think about giving to charity. You can start now with your old mobile phones.

The fun part is that even if your mobile phones are not functioning properly, you can still give them out to charity. Charity organizations often exchange some of these phones with recycling companies for cash to support their programs.

So, all in all, you are getting rid of your mobile phones and contributing to charity. What a great way to gain twice from a single act!

3. You Can Sell Them

Yes, mobile phones are not entirely useless because they have been previously used. If your mobile phone is still in great condition, you can put them up for sale. You can sell them on online platforms like Gumtree or eBay. You can also convert your mobile phones and get money for them.

The condition for this, however, is that your phone should be functioning properly. Once you meet this condition, you are good to go. You can do this on Cash Converters or CeX. These two companies help you convert your functioning mobile phones to cash.

4. Recycle Them

This is what we have discussed above. You can get rid of your mobile phones by recycling them. It’s easy and straightforward to do. Just follow the instructions above, and that’s it.

One thing to note about disposing of your phone is that you need to protect yourself. And by this, we mean you should delete all the personal details on your phone before disposing of them.

You have to remove your pin or passwords on the phone. If you have your accounts logged in, you should log out everything. Ensure you delete all confidential information on your phone. You should remove the sim cards too. This way, you are ensuring that whoever picks it would not have access to your details.


Mobile phones are great, but you can’t use them for life. When the time comes, you will have to change them or dispose of them. For environmental concerns, you should do this properly. What you have to do has been explained to you. Follow them and have fun.



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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.