It’s no surprise that cell phones are not built with reusability in mind. Our once old trusted friends are rarely recycled in a sustainable way.
Most old cell phones are sent to recycling plants and put through powerful, all-purpose shredders. Metal components are then shipped to one of a handful of registered smelters, where they’re melted down. A few precious metals from the circuit boards, including gold and palladium, are recovered from the molten liquid, but the vast majority of materials are left to burn, releasing chloride, mercury and other vapors into the atmosphere.
If we all put in a little bit more time and effort into reusing our old things, we could, as a population, cut down the amount of trash that hurts this beautiful planet of ours.