Why should you recycle your cell phone? Because the statistics are shocking: almost 200 million cell phones are retired every year. These phones contain rare metals — over 2,000 metric tons of copper, 4 metric tons of gold, 50 metric tons of silver, and 2 metric tons of palladium. These materials could be recycled and reused in the future.
Recycling is far more than a localized e-waste crisis. Landfills around the world are now home to tons of discarded e-waste products and many of them contain toxic materials like lead, europium, neodymium, cerium and terbium.
Rare earth metals are also a a foreign policy issue. Up to 97 percent of the rare earth metals on the planet are controlled by China. While the U.S. imports the metals for domestic manufacturing, the fact is that America still depends upon another country for the raw materials needed to manufacture electronics like cell phones.
The solution? Recycling as much of the e-waste we possibly can so we might keep our independence from foreign aid.
What do you think?