What can we do with an old mobile phone that is being stored at home either broken or no longer in use?
ICT equipment such as laptops, mobile phones and other devices you use in your daily life are so important for keeping us connected and bridging the digital divide – something which we’ve particularly valued during the COVID pandemic.
First and foremost, people need to be aware that they are supposed to return their electricals. End-of-life appliances will not magically fly into a recycling plant or a repair shop. Campaigns need to focus on the importance of changing habits to get e-waste out of homes and businesses and into repair shops and recycling plants.
Furthermore, there’s a couple of options depending on whether the mobile phone is working or not. If the device is still working, you can donate it, take it to your second residence, or sell it. Many producer responsibility organisations have developed apps that allow you to identify the nearest shop to return your gear. It’s therefore good to check whether your device manufacturer has a buy-back program – which you can use for an upgrade, or a take-back recycling program.
If, however, the device is not working, you could also see if it can be repaired for reuse. If the device cannot be repaired, you should find a responsible local recycler or a dedicated e-waste drop-off point.
This said, however, we should all be more conscious of buying new devices until they are needed. We should be mindful of the batteries in electronic devices, to avoid thermal incidents. Consider also encouraging your children’s school to take part in #ewasteday, engage in mobile phone collection initiatives, gadget repair projects and so forth.