Mobile phone recycling

Move along, nothing to see here!
Post Reply
BWND
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Mobile phone recycling

Post by BWND »

Hi,

I have some (now ancient) mobile phones lurking in the house that I'd like to dispose of responsibly in the UK.

My issue is that I can't ensure they are wiped of personal data before sending them to the likes of charities or the small electrical area of the recycling centre. This is because they don't work... but perhaps some enterprising crook could figure out a way? (Perhaps the chances of those devices being targeted are low!)

Does anyone know of any options?

The detritus of my once personal consumerist empire.

theanimal
Posts: 1724
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by theanimal »

I have the same problem in the US. There are grocery stores here that offer phone "recycling" but the phones I have are broken so I can't wipe any data off either. What to do, what to do...

BWND
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by BWND »

Is there a hybrid solution? Ideally the whole phone would be recycled. Since this doesn't appear to be possible, it seems to me the most potentially damaging component is the battery. This could be removed manually with varying degrees of ease depending on the manufacturer and recycled at a battery recycling point? The components with data (or the rest of the phone) could be battered to oblivion.

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by Stahlmann »

What kind of broken?

Have you tried connecting it to PC and using some dedicated software and using "wipe off" function?

BWND
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by BWND »

My level of tech understanding is 'won't switch on and hasn't for 8 years or more = broken' :lol:

I know one was fried from being submerged so it definitely won't work. It was the most recent one so it's a pity as it could have been sold.

Any particular wipe software you've used?

Ever since the 'remove battery and smash to oblivion' option occurred I'm leaning that way... Must watch the photocopier scene from Office Space...

BWND
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by BWND »

I haven't committed yet but I think I'm going with the hybrid option.

It's quite infuriating since really all it's meant to be at heart is a communications device. Talk about (in)appropriate technology.

A classic phone - could be gifted or recycled.
A dumb mobile - remove the sim that stores the data, can gift the phone, recycle the phone, easily remove the battery and recycle separately.
A smartphone - stores a wealth of personal data, possibly passwords, apps, photos etc. Can't be wiped because it now won't work. Multiple risks to me from responsible disposal. In some instances the battery is sealed in and hard to remove.

Of course, the latter offers apps for music, camera, maps, podcasts, what 3 words...

I've been a follower round here for long enough to keep in mind end of my use options with any purchase but in my defence these are legacy objects :P

theanimal
Posts: 1724
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by theanimal »

Well, I got rid of 3 ( :shock: ) damaged phones yesterday. The only one that was accessible had nothing on it and I believe the others are beyond access. The grocery store here has an "EcoATM" which evaluates the phone and offers money/recycles each one. It took a lot longer than I expected, about 15 min, but hey I got a whole $4 for my efforts...Collective purchase price ~$300, salvaged for $4. Not a good tradeoff.

BWND
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:08 am

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by BWND »

Great effort animal :) At least the receiver of the phone might have the ability to recycle most of the components.

I was able to destroy an old iphone 3. Was able to break the plastic off the back and remove the battery. I then separated the screen intact. So all was left to do was to batter the chips to death with a hammer. Not great as lots of little pieces of metal will now go to landfill. The battery will go to a battery point and I'll ad the phone screen and remaining carcass to the small electric pile and hopefully that can be salvaged too.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2146
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Mobile phone recycling

Post by Sclass »

BWND wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:07 am
So all was left to do was to batter the chips to death with a hammer. Not great as lots of little pieces of metal will now go to landfill.
It’s bad as this sounds it is probably the smart thing to do. I need to hammer a bunch of things I’ve been lugging around in a box for years. Old drives, webcams, dumb phones. The old iPhones make good music players.

Post Reply