While people know that newer devices are packed with better technology, more features and functionalities, lesser know that their old items should be properly taken care of before being sold or disposed.
During its usage, your mobile phone will store personal and sensitive information such as contacts; messages, documents web browsing and GPS locations; photos, music and videos; and even other sensitive and personal information that includes login ID and passwords to emails, websites and social media accounts.
People who ever own a mobile device should know that before ever disposing it, they need to remove any information that is stored on the device that can lead back to them.
The easiest way to do this, is by performing a factory reset.
After performing a factory reset, you need to remove your SIM and SD card (if available or present). This is because the cards can store personal information that a factory reset will not erase. You may also wish to keep your SIM card so that you can retain your old phone number by having the card transferred into your new device.
Following these procedures should ensure that disposing your mobile device won't leave any information about you in it.
Once your phone has been rid of personal information, you may now safely dispose of it.
There are multiple ways this can be done.
If your phone is in good condition and functions well, you may wish to sell or donate it. If your phone is not in a good condition, you may want to dispose it properly. And the best way to to this, is by recycling it.
Most people think "recycle" as a term to describe "reusing things". But things go beyond that because recycling can preserve Earth, and also save a lot of money.
In the rapidly growing tech world, people are buying new mobile phones once every year or so, in favor of new gadgets with newer technology. Those discarded devices can take a toll on the environment.
Recycling here, allows you to not only save Earth, but to also help vendors and manufacturers to also preserve the environment. This is because mobile devices contain precious metals and plastics that can be recycled to save energy and resources that would otherwise be required to mine or manufacture.
The materials/parts that can be collected and reused from a disposed phone, include:
- Precious and semi-precious metals: from copper, gold, silver, aluminium, lead, zinc, beryllium, tantalum, coltan, to lead and other raw materials.
- Plastic recovery: some internal parts, as well as the external part of a mobile phone contain plastic that can be recycled.
- Reusable parts: this can include aerials, battery connectors, PCBs (printed circuit boards), connectors including gold-coated edge contacts on PCBs, ICs (integrated circuits), keyboards, LCD screens, lenses, microphones, phone housings, screws, SIM card assemblies and speakers.
- Recovery and downgrading of valuable components: this includes the flash memory devices.
It is important to recycle old mobile phones and source their scarce materials whenever possible.
For smartphones, things go beyond just scarce metals, as they are also considered hazardous waste due to their toxic contents.
Most of the hazardous contents are contained within their batteries. Mobile phones also contain lead. This is also a toxic chemical that can pose hazardous to both the environment and living things.
With newer mobile phone models are constantly put up on the market to replace older ones, the rapid progression of technology in the mobile industry translates to newer mobile phone models to continually on the rise of consumerism.
As a result, outdated models are likely to end up in landfills, polluting the environment.
This is why recycling is the best way to do it.
Many mobile phone vendors or technology-centered companies offer programs through which you can recycle your phone.
If recycling your phone is not an option, you may discard it. If you must throw away your phone, it is important to do so in a safe, environmentally conscious way.