Mobile phones are the most common electronic devices on earth by volume, and a third of the tin used in them is mined from the war-ravaged Republic of Congo, last home of the threatened Mountain Gorilla.
No wonder recycling old mobile phones should be considered a priority, and why a number of companies are trying to position themselves as the market leader for this growing area.
This is not least by offering more money to recycle your mobile phone than you would normally be able to get if selling second-hand on the street or in the paper classifieds.
The trouble is, like any growth industry, there tends to be a handful of key company players with long-term business goals, surrounded by an unhealthy crowd of opportunists and affiliates whose aim is short-term gain over consumers.
Also be warned that the phone you send in needs to be in very good condition to get the full price offered - across the sector around 20% of phones offered for recycling will get a lower price due to some kind of damage, not least scratching and other cosmetic damage that makes a phone scream “second-hand”!
Therefore if you’re looking to recycle your old mobile phone - and good on you - here are the better companies to consider doing business with:
Mobile Phone Xchange
One of the biggest mobile phone recycling companies, MobilePhoneXchange provide the service directly, as well as through larger business partners such as Littlewoods, News of the World, and Argos.
According to MoneySavingsExpert, they also offer the highest price for good condition phones than any other mobile recycling company.
They offer the best range of payment options, such as paying directly into your bank account, cheque, text payment, or via vouchers from Debenhams, Argos, or Marks and Spencer.
Mobile Phone Exchange homepage: http://www.mobilephonexchange.co.uk/
Envirofone is one of the oldest and more established among the mobile recycling companies.
According to their website, Envirofone promises to return your phone if you’re not happy with the price offered. This can be a particular advantage if you change your mind, or your phone is determined to have more cosmetic damage than you would otherwise claim.
Envirofone website: http://www.envirofone.com/
Mazuma Mobile is one of the newest big companies on the block in the UK’s mobile phone recycling industry, and have been pushing hard with a long-running high-profile TV advertising campaign.
The company has also made a point of making customer care, rather than pricing, a key priority. Mobile phone recycling companies inevitably face complaints on the price offered if the phone is not in 100% good condition, so Mazuma have made more effort than others to try and address this head on.
Mazuma Mobile webste: http://www.mazumamobile.com/
Fonebank are one of the other established names in the mobile phones recycling industry, and the oldest of the larger companies that offer to buy mobile phones for recycling.
Claiming to have paid out £10 million for mobile phones for recycling in 2009, they do not offer as many flexible benefits as the other companies listed above.
However, Fonebank remains worth considering as one of the UK’s top companies for buying mobile phones for recycling.
Fonebank website: http://www.fonebank.com/