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.
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