Rachel Hinman made a very useful post to the Adaptive Path blog about a CHI presentation by Elaine Huang titled “Where do mobile phones go to die?”.
A few months back, after cracking the screen on my Palm Treo and buying iPhones for my wife and me, I donated two old Motorola phones for victims of domestic violence—they were collecting them at my church. I’m still holding onto the Treo, however, as it isn’t in working condition. I learned from Rachel that Palm has a free recycling program. It’s as easy as printing out a return label, throwing everything in a box, and dropping it off at a post office. My label is printing as I type.
As Rachel says, “We know what to do with a car when we are done with it (sell it), but we don’t know what to do with a mobile device. Most of the participants in Elaine’s study kept their old phones — some with as many as five.” It really is a matter of education.
And it isn’t a problem limited to cell phones. I have a couple boxes full of old computer peripherals and cables, most of it obsolete, and three computers that, while still functional, are well past their prime. Rachel’s post has inspired me to take the time to find something responsible to do with them. I’ll let you know what I find out. Oh, and if you have any suggestions, please drop me a line.