An overview of mobile phone recycling market

UK households, which have a mobile phone penetration rate of 95%, upgraded over a million smartphones each month as they rushed to take advantage of the latest technological innovations and deals while keeping up with the Joneses.


This has directly contributed to the explosion of the used phone market. When even three-year-old phones can fetch over £100, it’s easy to understand why. In fact, some customers go even further, and are selling ancient and broken mobile phones stashed inside drawers and closets for pretty decent amounts.



However, not all customers are focused solely on money and chant the “sell my old phone for the best price”. Instead, some are equally concerned, if not more, with how the phones will be disposed off by buyers. This is the reason why many customers today seek out companies with the ability to dispose phones in an environmentally-friendly manner, even if they have to slight their devices at slightly lower than averages prices. What’s a few pounds compared to knowing that you are playing a part in saving the world?


Mobile Phone Recycling Companies


A majority of the still working phones are shipped to wholesalers in secondary markets, which are usually located in developing nations. These phones are sometimes refurbished to increase its resale value. The demand for such phones in developing nations is actually quite high for certain models.


The leftover phones, as well as the already broken or damaged ones, are the primary target of the recycling and disposal process, and certifications such as WEEE and ATF are geared towards such phones. However, before they are sent to be recycled, some companies first strip of certain components (usually screens) for spare parts.


The first step in the process involves stripping recoverable materials, including those containing potentially hazardous metals and chemicals, from the mobile phones. Once these materials, which are called e-waste, have been removed, the rest of the phone can be disposed like any other waste.


The e-waste, meanwhile, are stored in robust containers which can sometimes last for a few hundred years. The containers are then kept in managed landfills far from any underground source of water or human activities. Regular inspections would be conducted to ensure the integrity of the containers and site are not compromised.