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Mobile phone recycling market growing by 25% per year in the UK

Industry Sector



9 November 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


The global mobile phone recycling market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% through to 2015, with the industry being driven by the rapidly increasing rates of mobile phone replacements, along with the more stringent safety standards from regulatory authorities.

The substantial growth in the volume of e-waste has forced regulatory bodies to tighten the rules regarding the handling of hazardous e-waste materials. In order to gain better control over e-waste processing techniques, many new standards have been designed and brought into practice. The safety measures quantify the risk and its aversion in terms of the concentration of toxic chemicals in the environment.

One of the major driving factors is the presence of valuable materials in e-waste. Some of the valuable materials that can be recovered from e-waste are gold, silver, aluminum, and copper. Many firms have stated that mobile phone recycling is increasingly driven by the financial rather than environmental benefits of reusing old handsets and diverting them from landfill.

Dozens of companies will pay from £5 to more than £200 for a second-hand phone, depending on its make and quality. These firms make profits by restoring the handsets and selling them to customers in Africa, South America and Asia. As the trend catches on the mobile recycling industry is growing by about 25% a year.

An estimated 100 million mobiles lie forgotten in drawers or the back of cupboards. Despite this growing industry, less than 10% are recycled.

The latest initiative to be unveiled is a recycling ATM, which offers gadget freaks the option to trade in their discarded mobile phones for cash, rather than dumping them when they go in for the latest model. Californian company ecoATM has rolled out the machine that is sophisticated enough to see if a screen is cracked, evaluate unwanted goods for resale and recycling - hoping to inspire people to go green.

The company's databases are now trained with images of more than 4,000 devices, and when an identification mistake occurs, the system learns from that mistake. When a phone is presented, the AI system conducts a visual inspection, identifies the device model and provides one of 23 possible connector cables to link it to the network. A value is then determined based on the company's real-time, worldwide, pre-auction system in which a broad network of buyers have already bid on the old technology, so the kiosk can immediately provide compensation.Mobile Phone Recycling

Key players currently dominating the mobile phone recycling market include CloudBlue Technologies Inc., Intechra, Corporate Mobile Recycling Ltd., Converge, Eazyfone, GEMS, Mazuma Mobile, Envriofone.

For more information on the global mobile phone recycling market, see the latest research: Global Mobile Phone Recycling Market

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