What Do Canadians Do With Their Old Cell Phones?

by Istvan Fekete on April 19, 2013

While encouraging Canadians to participate in Earth Day on Monday April 22, recently released results from the 2012 National Cell Phone Recycling Study aims to highlight Canadians’ habits when it comes to old cell phones.

Turns out, a big chunk of old mobile phones — more precisely 41%, according to the study’s findings — are stashed away in junk drawers rather than being recycled, although half of the mobile subscribers are aware of cell phone recycling programs, while 16% are aware of the Recycle My Cell program.

As the study points out, more than two third of adults own a cell phone (73%), but virtually all cell phone owners (roughly 93%) have purchased a new phone rather than acquired one from the secondary market.

Canadians have owned, on average, three cell phones prior to their current one. The study shows a 2.5 year average usage pattern, which could be due to the heavily criticized three-year contract.

So, what happened to their previous cell phone when they bought the new one? Well, according to the results, 41% of Canadians have decided to keep their old handset and store it, while another 41% found another way to use it, and only 12% recycled it.

When it comes to recycling, Canadians tend to recycle their cell phone after using it for at least four years. The older Canadians are, the more likely they are to have recycled their used mobile phone.

A good sign is that half of Canadians are aware of recycling programs for cell phones. Awareness is particularly higher in provinces such as Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, and the lowest is in New Brunswick and Quebec.

Also, 74% of those surveyed who previously owned a regular cell phone are more likely to recycle their cell phone in the future.

“Canadians from coast to coast love their mobile devices, but it is imperative that these devices are recycled responsibly at the end their life cycle,” said Bernard Lord, President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). “We want to ensure that all wireless devices stay out of Canada’s landfills, making a cleaner and better Canada for all of us.”

What about you? What do you have in your drawers?

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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