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CWTA: 41% of old cell phones are stashed away in junk drawers as opposed to being recycled

recylcephones
Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd and the CWTA’s Recycle My Cell program has released some results from their 2012 National Cell Phone Recycling Study. With manufacturers and carriers launching new handsets every month it’s not that surprising to read that “41% of old cell phones are stashed away in junk drawers as opposed to being recycled.” The “old” cellphones are still incredibly new, powerful and valuable.

The CWTA highlighted these 2012 stats, plus put together a fancy infographic:

- 72% of Canadians either own a cell phone or plan to buy one in the near future
- 71% of respondents indicated they were likely to recycle their cell phone in the future.
- The average consumer keeps their device for approximately 22 months.
- About 96% of the materials in an average mobile device are recyclable
- Every year, 20 to 50 million metric tons of E-waste are disposed of worldwide
- 12% of used devices are currently being recycled; the rest are stored, sold, gifted or thrown out

Recycle My Cell has a goal to keep cell phones out of Canada’s landfills and offers up various drop-off centres across Canada. If you do decide to hand over your old brick the proceeds will go towards local charities. Most carriers and retailers have a cellphone recycling program in place that potentially gives you money for your device.

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Source: RecycleMyCell

  • kevin c

    I tend to keep my previous phone around as a backup device, in case something happens with the primary. Anything older than the previous phone goes to at the electronics recycling center (by then it’s 5-6 years old, it has no resale value)

  • tom

    This only applies to the general public. For mobilesyrup geeks, we change phone every month and promptly put our phone on Kijiji and cragslist for top dollar!

  • Mike

    Maybe I just like having old phones, I love my nokia 3100b, the power button is ripped, but I can still use it on rogers/fido in canada or if I travel, I’m not going to bring my 600$ phone..

  • o_zzy

    LOL, true.

  • sicsicpuppy

    Looks like a Factory Direct delivery :)

  • Rhett H

    The Eco Station in AB is top notch, you can take just about anything there and they’ll do something good with it.

  • Jay

    22 month? Well I change almost every year my phone. So that’s me and blackberry are making the garbage!

  • silver_arrow

    Because people can always cancel after two years
    /s

  • canada is a monopoly

    instead of making things better for canadians they are worried in whats in the drawers at home, come check my boxer shorts too you’ll find something useful.

    useless tax money is wasted on these garbage government organizations who enslave us and only serve corporations. pathetic

  • Matthew Wargarbalton

    If you have trouble accessing a recycle drop off. Any Source store will take them as part of the trade and save program.

  • beyond

    I have all my previous cell phones, and gave only one away to a family member to use. I even have my very first cell phone – the Motorola MicroTac flip with battery and charger LOL

  • beyond

    Doesn’t Rogers include that plastic recycling bag you can use to send your previous phone back for recycling? And Best Buy now has those bins at the store entrance to recycle just about anything even CD’s. I suspect people don’t want to let go of their previous phone right away when they hardware upgrade. So later on they forget about recycling it.
    If they did introduce a cash incentive like a rebate it would have to be at least double digit (over 10$ for sure) for people to think it was worthwhile to recycle at the moment they hardware upgrade.

  • Jk

    Crappy incentives = trash instead of recycle.

    That’s just how it is with humans.

    Either Government or the fat cats oligopoly telecom corp step in with taking care of the environment because it is their duty to contribute back to the society where you made all your money.

    You may argue why tax payers have to fund the recycling programs, but that is the duty of the government to make choices that benefits the whole society; moreover, the funds are then recycled back into tax payers’ pocket. win, win situation. Oh wait no, our government is all about business profits, screw the environment, we’ll take care of it when it is too late.

    • Jk

      PS. i still have my first black and white nokia and sony ericson flip phone in my drawer.

  • CADDMan71

    So….according to that fancy graphic only 5% of old phones are going into the garbage. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. If there are 41% stashed away in junk drawers (I’ve either given my old phones to my kids as toys or stashed them away) then they’re not taking up space in a landfill. Give away or sell is just another form of recycling. I’d like to know what the OTHER category consists of.

  • SellCell.com

    We are in the process of doing some awareness campaigns for cell phone recycling, hard to believe that in 2013 not many people know about the various companies out there both offline and online.

    It’s the same in most places throughout the world though, the US are only just waking up to cell phone recycling, and Britain are about 75% of the way there.

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