According to a release today from Moneysupermarket.com, promoting its recycling service, two-thirds of us (in the UK) don’t recycle old handsets. The worrying aspect of this is that handsets include some nasty chemicals (mostly in batteries) which should be disposed of safely. Many people either don’t know or don’t care about the regulations and throw old phones in the bin, whereupon they end up in landfill. Of course you could say the same about laptops, iPods, shavers, and no end of other electronic devices with rechargeable batteries. Moneysupermarket.com made a model out of old phones to make the point (that’s London’s Post Office Tower in the background):
I am not sure about the recycling service – you might do better on eBay, except for worthless old devices. Still, I do think this is a problem that should be addressed. I hate the casual manner in which we chuck poison into landfill, risking it finding its way into the foodchain. A good start would be to regulate against the business model of the major telecom providers, which subsidises the hardware thus encouraging users to change their devices long before they are really worn out.