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The Disadvantages of Recycling Mobile Phones

Updated April 17, 2017

Recycling saves energy and prevents unnecessary waste. However, recycling mobile phones carries some disadvantages, including issues of toxic waste byproducts and problems with personal information contained in most cell phones.

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Personal Information

Many people keep information in their cell phones that is potentially harmful in the wrong hands. Identity thieves and other criminals could obtain contact information, addresses and even Social Security numbers from old cell phones. Clearing the cell phones of all information before recycling is one way to combat this issue.

Toxicity Levels

Mobile phones contain toxic elements, like mercury, cadmium and lead. The recycling process for such products is difficult, and toxic waste left over from the recycling process often ends up in trash dumping sites. The soil and water sources surrounding dumping areas are negatively affected by these toxins.

Other Disadvantages

Mobile phones consist of a variety of different metals and plastic components. Separating the different metals poses a problem for many cell phone recyclers. In addition, certain plastics cannot be recycled. In fact, less than 10 per cent of the total plastic used in America is recyclable.

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About the Author

Heidi Broach has been a professional freelance writer since 2005. In addition to producing articles for websites such as Merchant Circle and Employment Crossing, Broach acts as a grammar and content consultant for numerous international clients. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Memphis.

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