• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Note/Recycling Cellphones

Air Date: Week of

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

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 it’ll 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, they’ll 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 there’s 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. That’s this week’s Business Note. I’m Jennifer Chu.


CURWOOD: And you’re listening to Living on Earth.




XS Tronix website


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

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.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth