We've all got at least one spare mobile phone lying around the house, despite all the various recycling services on offer. But when you do send in a phone for recycling, what happens to it? A press release from MobileMuster today conveniently explained the six step process:
The 6 Steps of Recycling · AMTA's recycler MRI (Aust) Pty Ltd in Melbourne dismantles, sorts, stores and processes the mobile phone handsets, batteries, chargers and accessories collected by MobileMuster. · Step 1 Dismantle and sort into the following components - batteries (NiCad, NiMetHyd, Lithium Ion), printed circuit boards, handsets, chargers/accessories, plastics and paper/cardboard packaging. · Step 2 Batteries are stored and then shipped to approved recyclers in OECD countries. · Currently all mobile phone batteries are shipped to Kobar Ltd in South Korea where they are processed for Nickel - used in the production of stainless steel, Cadmium - used in new batteries, Cobalt - used in new batteries and Copper. In the past they have been shipped to Societe Nouvelle D’Affinage Des Métaux (SNAM) in France for processing. · Step 3 Circuit boards are stored and then shipped to Reco Metal in South Korea where they are processed and then sent to Korea Zinc which recovers the precious metals including gold, silver, copper and lead. · Step 4 Handset casings are sent to local plastics manufacturer Australian Composite Technology which shreds and uses the plastic to produce composite plastic fence posts and pallets. · Step 5 Accessories are processed locally by various recyclers who shred and then separate the plastics from the ferrous and non-ferrous metals for reuse. Some plastics from this process can end up in landfill as they are not pure enough for recycling.
So now you know. And if you have any old phones lying around, why not recycle them today?