With the hype of the highly anticipated iPhone 4S, many current iPhone users are preparing for the upgrade. While crowds are forming many may encounter a disposal dilemma of an existing cell phone. Apple and other companies are taking environmental strides by offering recycling programs of old phones. Discarded cell phones account for nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year. More than 500 million unwanted cell phones are either awaiting disposal in the home, or seeping hazardous lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic into the environment. With new features available every year, a cell phone’s average life is now less than 18 months, adding more than 140 million cell phones and their batteries to our landfills each year.
Need to recycle your iPhone? There’s an app for that. Apple will determine if the iPhone you’re not using can be reused. If so, you can receive an Apple gift card to use at an Apple retail stores or the online store. If your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or even PC doesn’t qualify for reuse, Apple will recycle it responsibly at no cost to you. The used equipment is disassembled, and key components that can be reused are removed. Glass and metal can be reprocessed for use in new products and a majority of the plastics can be pelletized into a raw secondary material. With materials reprocessing and component reuse, Apple often achieves a 90 percent recovery rate by weight of the original product. Apple-controlled voluntary and regulatory programs worldwide are processed in the region in which it was collected. The recyclers must comply with all health and safety laws, and do not dispose of hazardous electronic waste in solid-waste landfills or incinerators.
Another option for disposal is using electronics re-Commerce company Gazelle. Gazelle collects working electronics and sells them to retail and wholesale outlets for reuse, and is teaming up with Costco.com and Walmart.com. The Electronics Trade-In program at Walmart.com is currently offering customers up to $250 in eGift cards for iPhone 4 32GB models. The program isn’t just for iPhones; customers can trade in a wide variety of old, unwanted electronics including cell phones, laptop and desktop computers and cameras, in exchange for Walmart.com eGift cards ranging from $5 to $1000. In an effort to keep e-waste out of landfills, even electronics that are broken or otherwise have no value can still earn an eGift card, and each piece will be responsibly recycled by Gazelle. To recycle your iPhone or other unwanted device, simply answer a few questions, and an online calculator will determine the value of each item you want to trade in. Then download a pre-paid shipping label from Gazelle, and ship your items to them at no cost and they email you a gift card within a week.
This month marked revolutionary news; Apple lost its core Wednesday, October 5th. Steve Jobs was an extraordinary innovator of our time, and his mark on society, technology, consumerism, and popular culture will continue to enrich and improve our lives.
(Image Courtesy of: Mother Nature Network)