600kg of Gold and Silver Being Thrown in the Bin – British Still not Recycling Their Old Mobile Phones

Published by Stephen Roper on Tagged Recycling

Every year people in Britain are throwing over 600kg of gold and silver in the bin because mobile phones are still not being disposed of correctly.

Brett Crols, a spokesman for Umicore, a company in Belgium that operates the world’s largest mobile processing plant, said that when 50,000 handsets are recycled just over a kilogram of gold and a kilogram of silver can be extracted from them.

Every year in Britain over 15 million handsets are still being thrown in the bin and ending up at landfill sites. This equates to about 600kg of gold and silver with a value of around £6 Million. Only 2% of all disposed mobiles in the UK are actually being recycled correctly.

Gold is used on the circuit boards within mobile phones and silicon chips are stuck in with it to prevent corrosion. Silver is used on the soldering. Mobile phones also contain tiny amounts of other previous metals including Platinum.

Greenpeace, the environmental group said in a recent statement: “Mobile recycling rates are rising but are still quite low.”

Many of the biggest recycling plants are located within Europe in countries such as Belgium and Germany. Umicore who also process other electronic equipment currently extract around six tonnes of gold every year which is worth around £30 Million. The recycling industry has recently been given a boost by gold prices hitting $1000 an ounce last month for the first time in just under a year.

In Japan manufacturers are crying out to receive their old electronic products back because they desperately need the materials. In the long term it’s likely we will see material security as one of the main drives for recycling throughout many countries around the world.

77% of Britain’s now own a mobile phone and are gradually becoming more aware of recycling. The new WEE directive forcing manufacturers to help dispose of their old products is helping to lift recycling rates. Nokia is advising their customers to recycling at dedicated centres or via the internet.

Recycle your old phone online here.

2 Responses to “600kg of Gold and Silver Being Thrown in the Bin – British Still not Recycling Their Old Mobile Phones”

  1. dave bead Says:

    this is great information and and will let all of our customers now that their phones are worth some money and to cashi n on them thanks

  2. dave bead Says:

    great information on old phones we shall tell all our customers and offer them great prices

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