Do they get thrown in the back of a drawer and forgotten about?
It is estimated that there are over 3 Billion phones in the world, of these 90 million are sat in peoples drawers and cupboards collecting dust, even worse some of these are being put in the bin and eventually end up at landfill sites which can cause big problems to the environment.
90 million mobiles have a cash value that is estimated to be as much as £1.6Billion, that's enough to buy a Royal Navy aircraft carrier or 800 million pints of beer!
We recommended that you dig out all your old phones and recycle or sell them so they can be re-used. This can help make a big difference to our futures and also in these gloomy economic times help you earn you earn some extra money.
Every year over 15 million phones are upgraded but only 20% of these are actually recycled or re-used. That leaves over 3 million phones every year that could be causing big problems to the environment. Although they are only small, they contain some of the most toxic materials known to human beings.
Toxic materials found in mobiles and how they harm
Cadmium - This is being phased out of new mobile phone batteries but was included in most older phones. One mobile containing cadmium would be enough to pollute 600,000 litres of water.
Lead - This is used to solder components onto the circuit board inside your mobile phone. Lead can cause serious damage to children's brains, in adults it can affects the immune, endocrine and central nervous systems.
Brominated flame retardants - In the past these have been associated with cancer.
Beryllium - This is used in the springs and contacts inside every phone. In humans beryllium can cause major lung damage if they are burnt in waste plants.
The best way of disposing of your phone correctly is by selling it to a specialized Internet company. These companies will either sell your old phone abroad or dispose of it correctly and sell the usable parts if it is faulty.
Online recycling companies pay between £5 - £400 per mobile phone you send in. The amount you are sent depends on the condition of the phone and how new the model is. Some companies may buy your faulty phone which will fetch between 10% to 80% of the full value.