Many people wonder why the demand for old mobiles is so great and what happens to the phones once they have been recycled. It’s quite hard for people to get their heads around the fact that just because they think their old phone is useless and outdated, that it can be of use to anyone else.


See what the recycle companies say about it here

However, be assured that old phones are most definitely of use, not least because many of them are still in a good enough condition that they can be refurbished and used again. Recent statistics have actually shown that out of all of the mobile phones that are sent off to be recycled, only a small amount are actually completely useless and beyond repair.

When a recycler receives your phone, they run it through a series of tests, such as checking the IMEI number against a register in order to confirm the mobile has not been stolen or lost. All the elements of the phone will then be checked too, such as the keypad or camera and if the phone is found to be in good working order, it can be refurbished. This means that if there are any scratches on the outer casing or if the screen is cracked, those elements will be replaced, so the phone looks like new.


If something more substantial is found to be broken but is repairable, recyclers send the phone off to a repair centre and then, once fixed, the phone can be sold. If, however, the phone is found to be beyond repair then they are broken down and the different materials that make up the phone are recycled. For instance, phones contain different metals like, platinum, silver, copper and even gold, which can be reused in jewellery making.

Recyclers can also take the nickel found in phone batteries, recycle it and make it into stainless steel for kitchen instruments such as saucepans. All the plastic contained within phones can also be taken and melted down for plastic sheeting, or even traffic cones. There’s actually a good amount of money to be made from recycling these phone scrap elements, as most materials can be used again for other phones or devices.


Charities often buy up many refurbished phones in order to donate them to organisations that are based in developing countries, the organisations then sell on the phones for a small sum, or give them away for free. Of course, there are also some mobile phone networks that buy up lots of refurbished phones that have been recycled and sell them to their customers who want to have a working phone but at a lower price than a brand new phone would cost them.

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