Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on a British campaign to recycle used cell phones for much-valued treasures.
CURWOOD: Just ahead – considering the eel is next. First, this Environmental Business Note with Jennifer Chu.
CHU: Inside very old cell phones is a treasure waiting to be mined. And a British telecommunications firm says it will gladly accept your old mobile. You can mail your unwanted phone to XS Tronix in London where itll be stripped for precious metals like gold, silver and palladium. The company says the estimated 90 million unwanted phones in the UK alone contain about $2 million in silver, $15 million in palladium, and $26 million in gold.
Older and bulkier phones tend to house more metals than newer models. After the precious metals are extracted, theyll be smelted down, refined, and resold on the commodities market to jewelry makers and semi-conductor manufacturers. The company also plans to recycle the plastic in the phones. Recovering these cell phones could keep about 5,000 tons of electronic waste out of the landfills in the UK.
And theres an incentive to recycle. People who turn in their old phones can get free movie tickets, free minutes on their monthly bill, or a donation to their favorite charity. Thats this weeks Business Note. Im Jennifer Chu.
CURWOOD: And youre listening to Living on Earth.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an autographed copy of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.