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Recycle Mobile Phones, Gadgets and Telephone Equipment;
or Buy Recycled

Safe recycling of mobile phones, gadgets and telecomms equipment is a high priority

The new millennium has witnessed a remarkable growth in the use of mobile telephones and gadgets and their presence seems to permeate every social space. This has had a significant impact on cultures internationally and not only the affluent ones. The users clearly see them as indispensable, bystanders often regard them as a pain and their small size and attractive features have fuelled a new wave of crime. Whichever way you see them, the rapid development of technology together with their desirability means that mobiles have short and usually expensive lives, often being disposed of while they are still potentially useful. Also, since mobiles or smart phones have become multi-function, they have replaced other devices e.g. cameras, MP3 players, even Sat Navs, resulting in a surplus of unwanted gadgets. Many of the charities and organisations below will also recycle gadgets. These characteristics, together with the fact that to dump them is positively dangerous (see our Reference page on Mobile Phone Recycling), has resulted in a flourishing recycling industry. Make no mistake this is a major business, and one to be encouraged. The operators frequently make charitable donations and whether these donations are a ploy to attract business or genuine altruism the end result is desirable. Telephone equipment recycling is the less glamorous sibling. This area of telecommunications is likely to be be associated with organisations rather than individuals but is also the beneficiary of technological advancement. A good installation can bring increased profitability to a company perhaps by improving effective communications, time-saving or reducing manpower. The ongoing refurbishment of telephone and telecommunication systems means that recycling is important; hopefully it will become mandatory.
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Mobile Phone and Telephone Equipment Index
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In the trade, Mobiles are also referred to as Cellular Phones or Cell phones, names which are derived from the underlying network infrastructure and now also Smart phones, reflecting their increased functionality. Their use has even influenced the English language as text messaging has proved a popular and economic form of communication. The resultant 'pidgin' English is characterised by brevity and, unfortunately, lax grammar.
WEEE is referenced several times on this page. WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment; click for our reference summary of WEEE.

Mobile Phones and Gadgets
Note: many mobile phone recyclers deal with printer-cartridges as well, so it is also worth looking at our page on Printer Cartridges
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  Many companies now recycle mobiles, PDAs, cameras, MP3 players and other hand-held devices, but many still end up in landfill sites or the sea. Recycling is an important, growing part of the trade because some components can be put to good use, moreover the dangerous content can be disposed of safely. It is said that some cellular phones and their accessories contain substances amongst the 10 most dangerous known.
Click here to find out more about 'old' Mobile Phones.
[For more information on hazardous materials see our Reference pages on WEEE and RoHS, and Batteries and Plastics in the Hazardous Waste section].
Against Breast Cancer (ABC) collect old mobile phones and inkjet and laser cartridges to recycle and raise funds for their research projects into breast cancer, diet, lifestyle and natural immunity. They can provide Free post poly bags, or boxes for larger numbers; visit their web site for details.
  Age UK run mobile phone and toner and inkjet cartridge collection and recycling services, which bring revenue to the charity. They also collect collect foreign currency, recycle household goods, clothes etc.
    Cartridges4charity, a UK project designed to help the environment and raise funds for charities through mobile phone and printer cartridge recycling.
    Environmental Mobile Control (EMC) specialises in buying, recycling and facilitating reuse of surplus mobile telephone equipment and laptops for companies.
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Mobile Phones and Gadgets continued
  Foneclub allows individuals and corporates to raise money for the charity or school of their choice quickly and easily by recycling mobile phones. Foneclub is run by Corporate Mobile Recycling Ltd (CMR), who have several years experience recycling used mobile phones.
    Greensource Solutions collect unwanted mobile phones, empty printer cartridges, Tablets, Laptops and handheld electronics; they raise funds for a number of chosen charities.
    Leukaemia CARE provides vital care and support to all those whose lives are affected by leukaemia, lymphoma and the allied blood disorders. Their work includes the welfare of families and carers, as well as patients. For info on donations including stamps, mobiles and cartridges go to their site.
MCAI (Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International) in UK, helps children in hospital worldwide, and the environment. Their recycling service for mobiles and cartridges - toner and inkjet, is free (you need at least 10).
    Mobile Takeback Forum is a group within the UK Federation of Communication Services (FCS). MTF is for all parts of the mobile phone industry to review the impact of new environmental legislation on their businesses, to discuss issues related to handling of 'end of life' mobiles.
    O2 operate a free scheme, providing safe, easy disposal for individuals and corporates. You can return and make money on your unwanted mobile phones, chargers & accessories, sat navs, mp3 players or digital cameras via O2 shops, by post or online. £1 is donated to UK community projects UK for every gadget recycled. All gadgets are reused or recycled responsibly.

Office Green recycle used or unwanted printer cartridges, mobile phones, fluorescent lighting and computer equipment. They can issue companies with a full audit trail plus a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note to help comply with environmental legislation. They collect for free and pay for printer cartridges and mobile phones, or you can donate to charity.
Also, Office Green and the National Trust are working in partnership to offer a recycling service covering toner and inkjet printer cartridges and mobile phones with all funds generated going directly to the National Trust.

Reclaim-it is dedicated to safe collection of mobile phones and printer (inkjet and toner) cartridges throughout the UK. They work with many companies, charities and Not For Profit organisations to arrange safe collection and generate much needed funding.
Recycle 4 Charity is a fundraising tool for charities and nfp groups run by Intelligent Link, for recycling Mobiles and Printer Cartridges; they provide all the free promotional material, advice and information you need in order to raise funds for the charity, school, club or community group of your choice.
Redeem claim to be international leaders in the collection and recycling of used inkjet and toner printer cartridges, mobile phones and accessories. They support schools, youth groups and national charities. Any organisation can start a recycling scheme today to raise money for local community fund-raising. The company help all these groups to make money through recycling.
    RSPB work with Redeem plc and get cash for every item donated to the Recycling Appeal. You can recycle recycle your old mobile phones, inkjet cartridges, digital cameras, sat navs, iPods, game consoles, CDs and DVDs.
    Scope provide a recycling service for your unwanted mobile phones, which you can drop off at any Scope shop.
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Telephone Equipment
  Telecommunications equipment can be expensive to install new or replace. A number of companies offer refurbished or second-user (ie recycled) telephone equipment and telecomms products, usually with installation and support, also maintenance if required.
    Best4Systems (was Mediacomm) provide business and domestic telecommunications products including refurbished telephone systems and installation, upgrade / relocation, cabling, repair & maintenance services.
    Eastern Voice & Data is a specialised communications engineering company providing a repair and refurbishment service with backup and advice, for vandal resistant, special environment and all weather telephones.
    Integral Communications state they are committed to recycling quality telecom equipment, offering supply and purchase of reliable second-user telephone systems plus installation and maintenance services.
Pure Planet Recycling recycles all types of telecoms equipment, from small business phone systems to large multi site, multi functional telecoms system They also recycle telecom aerials, antennas and site equipment for national telecommunication providers. They offer all categories of WEEE recycling.
Recycling4You offer businesses a single solution for collection and recycling of IT, computer, networking, telecoms, refrigeration, CRT and all electrical equipment, plus toner cartridges.
    Shields supports the telecoms industry and major corporations, providing pre owned network equipment and handsets to clients globally and offering safe disposal solutions of all types of network equipment and mobile phones, thereby minimising impact on the environment. Also see Fonebak above.

Telecom Green remove and recycle any used phone equipment, mainly PABX, from small or large business systems. They are not telecoms equipment suppliers.


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Page originated: 9 December, 2005, Last amended: 7 February, 2015