“What do I do with my old mobile phones? I just put them in a drawer”: Attitudes and perspectives towards the disposal of mobile phones in Liverpool, UK

Author: and
Issue: Volume 9, Issue 2, 2015

Abstract


The rapid rise in the use of mobile (cell) phones, combined with their shortening lifespan, due to a high replacement frequency, are posing disposal management challenges at a time when mobile phones are the fastest growing component of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). In this study, 250 people in Liverpool, UK, were surveyed using mixed methods quantitative and qualitative approach to investigate their attitudes and perspectives towards their use and disposal of mobile phones. Most people change their phones every one to two years. However, despite asserting that mobile phones should be recycled, repaired or reused, and demonstrating awareness of the hazards and toxicity of mobile phones, 86% of people store their ‘retired’ phones, with almost half, having three to four phones stockpiled. The small size and light weight of mobile phones make stockpiling an easy option and create obstacles for ‘take-back’ and other more formal ways of reuse or recycling.

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Authors Affiliations


Janet Speake (a)*, Leopoul Nchawa Yangke (b)
(a) Department of Geography & Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Liverpool Hope University
(b) Department of Geography & Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Liverpool Hope University
* Corresponding author. Email: speake@hope.ac.uk

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