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June 2, 2008

Recycling is rubbish

INTERNATIONAL – Recycling is a pretty big thing in our house. We do the usual of splitting out those things which don’t need to go to landfill and composting stuff that’ll help the plants grow. When it comes to electronics though, the concept of recycling is completely alien. My old phone collection is ever-expanding (my kit cupboard is still stuffed with 10-year-old devices). Why? I have no idea. For some reason I just don’t think of phones (or other CE kit) as being something that should, or even could, be recycled.

Recycling2Nokia’s take-back program is expanding rapidly, as we’ve reported on
here recently
. But what’s startling me is that I’m not alone in my
mobile hoarding. Stats from a recent survey show that 60 per cent of
phone users in New York still have their old mobiles. Even in Finland,
somewhere I would have expected recycling to be taken seriously, that
figure is a little over 40 per cent.

Whilst the numbers are scary, it’s the attitude I think I find most
frightening. Not just anybody’s but my own. I really don’t care. But I
should. Reading through the notes on what Nokia has done to raise
awareness of the take-back scheme
it’s quite scary to think that more
people don’t care. Maybe it’ll take time, but the reality is for
most of us recycling our old devices sensibly isn’t difficult.

Last year Nokia sent out 200,000 recycling envelopes in Finland. Only
11 per cent were returned. Whilst dusting off 25,000 handsets before
having them recycled is definitely a good thing, the return rate could
and should have been much higher. It’s clearly not for the want of trying. Fundamentally it is the attitude to recycling that’s rubbish. And it needs to change, fast.

I’d like to change my attitude to it but fear I’m just too lazy. Any ideas?