Blog Post 1: Washington’s Phone Recycling

So, I got a new phone the other day. After getting my shiny new phone, the Verizon guy didn’t ask if I wanted to trade in my old one. So I still have that. Right now, it’s sitting on the bottom of my nightstand, tormenting me, laughing at me…

So, I did what any sensible person would do. Just kept it there and ignored is existence, because if something is out of sight, it does not exist.

Last week Eventually, I decided that’s probably a terrible idea. I’ve been looking into Pullman’s e-waste disposal services, and found that Pullman does take cell phones. I also found out they will pay me for it.

That’s so amazing, they must do that everywhere right? I mean, it is Washington. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Washington’s main E-Waste plan for cell phones is literally Best Buy or, god forbid, Radioshack. That seems a little dumb to me, especially considering that I don’t know of a Best Buy around here. Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough.

Out of 11.7 million pounds of general E-Waste in 2014 alone, it’s kinda weird to think that the chunk of it that is cell phones wasn’t really recycled by a normal recycling plant. At least Washington’s part went to Best Buy.

best-buy-store

Best Buy, MVP

Is it just me, or is that kind of insane? Maybe at least weird? Sure, it’s a free service, but it just seems mind boggling to me that we have designated Best Buy as our state’s phone dump recycling service. If we can recycle televisions or CPU’s, why not cell phones?

After doing some digging, I found that even with the ‘abundance’ of Best Buys, only around 12.5% of E-Waste is recycled. Worldwide. That’s like saying “I only did like 12.5% of my dishes because the rest would be just too inconvenient. I’ll get to it later.”

Unlike dishes, this isn’t really something that can wait very long. Especially when we dump 40 million pounds of e-waste every year. Its kind of looking like a lot of this E-Waste recycling needs to be fixed up. It looks like some of the fixes are moving in the right direction, but we really need to get our hands dirty and solve a lot of these problems before they come to nip us in the butt.

I suppose we could start by not outsourcing our trash to a freakin’ electronics store.

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