Mobile phone trade-in programs are achieving solid growth in the UK, with Intellibox now having rolled out 70 of a planned 1500 ATM-style phone trade-in for cash kiosks across the UK. Kiosks are being located in community hotspots such as shopping centres and supermarkets. The kiosk has built-in analytics that scan the phone, identifying not only the model and age, but also whether it has any dents, scratches and cracks before arriving at a purchase value. Customers are given the choice of a cash reward (online banking) or Amazon gift vouchers. The mobile phone trade takes about five minutes to complete.
This new push to automated recycling appears to be gaining traction with Intellibox looking to expand in France, Spain and Germany in 2018.
According to the Australian Mobile Telecommunications (AMTA) over 23 million unused mobile phones are discarded each year in Australia. The opportunities for mobile phone recycling are significant. Mobile Muster is a recycling initiative of the AMTA on behalf of the handset manufacturers, and the major carriers, including Telstra and Optus. Mobile phones are returned to 3,500 collection points around the country. Over 11 million handsets and batteries have been recovered since the program was set up in 1998.
Given the precious materials contained within today’s sophisticated smart phones, the commercial models for recycling phones are likely to see considerable change in the years ahead. More research is being done across the globe to see how best to separate the lithium and other trace elements for recycling.
Recycal has an experienced e-waste management team. In conjunction with its sister company CMA Ecocycle work together to handle and process Aluminium, Copper, Stainless Steel and Zinc, recovering the valuable metals for recycling and reuse. The group is committed to continue investment to ensure it stays a leader in this emerging Australian marketplace.