30 years ago there weren't any cell phones in America. Now there are more active phones in this country than there are people.
Phones are getting smarter and thinner and more in demand. But they're NOT getting recycled.
KTVT's Jeff Ray takes a look at what happens to all those phones.
"you are looking at one hundred cell phones.so lets talk about how many get recycled in America. Out of hundred? About ten come back. The rest? Well,they are out there somewhere.
"There are maybe a half billion phones out there that are in drawers and could be recycled"
To Craig Boswell there is a goldmine in recycled phones. Literally.
"An old cell phone actually contains ten times more gold than the ore you would mine out of the ground"
Boswell's electronic recycling business started 20 years ago with old computer hard drives. Now 60% of his business is from old phones. More than half of these phones live again.
"There is a lot of demand for a used phone"
Workers test and erase each one. They are shipped out to secondary phone markets. Parts are taken from damaged ones to create working ones.
Some become replacement phones for that protection warranty you bought. A big market. An endless supply.
We will do about three million phones through this facility this year.
Which makes HOBI, located in Dallas, the biggest phone recycling company in America. And if every American turned in their old, unused cell phone it would take his company 160 years to recycle them all.
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