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  • Category: Club House Discussion

    What happens to the old mobile phones in these days?

    I had this question or rather say, curiosity for a long time in my mind, that what happens to these numerous old mobile phones which people are discarding when they switch to a better one with newer technology and latest features?
    I know there are markets for old phones, their spare parts and so on. Even refurbished phones have their own target buyers, but how many people buy them? The number in which the phones are getting manufactured, is it possible that they get sold out in the same frequency?
    Moreover when some people are changing phones just to be ahead of fashion, others go for a change simply to avail the benefits. The phones are changing fast and it has become a craze to be on the track with the latest handset in your hand.
    Please share your knowledge on this and it would be better if we include in the discussion, the recycling process of these phones to make people aware of the environmental issues as well.
  • #24238
    Indian market doesn't go for the refurbished phones like the US phone. That is one reason the Apple's phone are not selling with refurbished or even second hand from the official stores. In such case these phones are either being dumped into recycled state or they are being sent to garbage.

    In past Nokia has the option with campaign called "Green" for the customers to recycle the product. There used to be one box in each Nokia store to dump the old phone and accessory. To support the initiative they also used to give 2% discount. The same was also ran by the Blackberry team. However they didn't catch much attention in the market. And eventually both these initiatives are ignored lately. Samsung still has this initiative going on but other companies seems to have ignored this issue.

    Some Indian startups such as - Budli, karma recycling and reglobe are working in this industry. They are buying the phones which could be recycled. Each one of them has their own recycling model. These sites can also pay you for selling your old phones. if the phones are recent then they are still likely to get more value out of resell value.

    I think recycling and getting paid is much better option and everybody will be encouraged for recycling their old phones this way.

  • #24240
    Well, there are many industries that recycle electronic waste. That reminds me of a collection initiative termed Green Citizen in San Francisco. Set up by Titus Green, the unit collects electronic waste including mobile phones and uses them to make screwdrivers, mats, small screws and what not.

    There are places both in India and elsewhere where tons of electronic waste is burnt to extract metals like copper wires, gold/silver threads etc. Batteries can be used to get cadmium. It should be noted that though your mobile phone gets old, it still has some reusable parts and if it is really so old that nothing can be got back, but still it has precious metals like gold, silver or platinum. An estimate I read somewhere indicated that a ton of mobile phones will yield 308 pounds of copper, 7 pounds of silver, and half a pound of gold. In US, the old phones beyond refurbishing go to the smelters who extract those metals. If your phone is capable of being refurbished, it goes through that phase and ends up being resold.

    Even India has been seeing such initiatives like Kabadiwala Connect, which could be a better way to get rid of E-waste.

    Live....and Let Live!


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