Popular Science

While you're staring at your new phone, scientists are finding ways to recycle your old one

Used cellphones are a huge source of electronic waste.
a cell phone

Consumer demand for the latest electronic devices contributes to the large amount of e-waste, and cell phones are the biggest problem.

Pixabay

How often do you swap out your old smartphone for a new one? Every two or three years? Every year? Today, phone companies make it easy with deals to trade in your old phone for the newest version. But those discarded phones are becoming a huge source of waste, with many components ending up in landfills or incinerators.

When a cell phone gets tossed, only a few materials get recycled, mostly useful metals like. But other materials — especially fiberglass and resins — which make up the bulk of cellphones’ circuit boards, often end up at sites where they can leak dangerous chemicals into our groundwater, soil, and .

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