Be one of the three out of 100 who recycle their cell phones


In a worldwide survey cellphone maker Nokia found that only 3% of people have ever recycled a cell phone and nearly half had never heard of such a thing. That's pretty pathetic after the huge efforts by manufacturers, retailers, governments, environmental groups and charities to make sure cellphones don't end up in landfills, where they leak lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

If all the 3 billion cell users worldwide recycled one phone (and on average we've gone through five), we would save 240,000 tons of raw material and cut the greenhouse gas equivalent of 4 million cars, Nokia Director of Environmental Affairs Markus Terho said in a statement. Some 85% of Nokia phones can be recycled. Some recycled cell phones go for parts and materials; others go to seniors or people in developing regions that might otherwise be cut off.

The big problem is that people just don't know what to do with their old phones. The survey of 6,500 people in 13 countries showed only 4% just threw them away. About 44% just kept them in a drawer with their other dead electronics. One fourth of us give them to somebody else and 16% try to sell them.