There is no shortage of ways in which to safely get rid of old cell phones and their batteries, writes IT Business Edge contributor Carl Weinschenk in a recent blog post. Cell phones are full of nasty chemicals including arsenic and mercury; thus, they need to be disposed of properly, not just placed in a garbage can. The biggest unknown now is if owners are willing to take the extra time-and, in some cases, pay a few bucks-to do the right thing, Weinschenk says.
Some countries in Europe and some states in the United States have begun to develop recycling laws that mandate the proper disposal of potentially harmful electronics, including cell phones. This Cell Phone Recycling Laws in Europe and the U.S. fact sheet, uploaded in the Knowledge Network, highlights policy considerations that should be kept in mind when forming take-back legislation and gives an overview of the laws already in place or in development.
A Benefits of Recycling Electronics in the United States fact sheet is also available in the Knowledge Network. This document references laws that reduce the amount of waste generated, prevent the release of hazardous materials into our ecosystems, and conserve the earth's limited resources by reducing raw material extraction and encouraging more sustainable approaches to manufacturing. This fact sheet also highlights products not included in U.S. laws and identifies research that explains why they should be included in take-back programs.