What happens to a mobile phone when a customer brings their old phone to a store and wishes to recycle it?
If it is a working mobile, DNA usually offers a rebate when the old mobile is exchanged for a new one. At a DNA Store, the rebate value of a device is checked, and the IMEI number of the returned mobile phone is entered in the returns system.
Are all mobile phone models (Lumias, iPhones, Galaxys etc.) sent to the same place?
Yes, all models are sent to the same processing plant, where customer data saved in the phone is securely deleted and the phone’s condition is checked. Working devices are then separated from the broken ones.
How do you delete the memory and other personal user data from a recycled device?
The device's memory, external memory cards and SIM cards are processed with the Finnish Blancco Mobile data erasure programme, which not only erases data but also ensures that it cannot be retrieved.
How many of the mobile phones recycled through stores will be reused? Where are the mobiles broken into parts?
Most of the returned phones are reused. If the mobile is broken, its battery is removed at the processing plants and some parts are taken out for spares. The mobile back cover is a typical spare part.
Scrapped mobile phones are processed and any recyclable materials are saved. Batteries from scrapped mobiles are sent to our partner specialised in battery processing and crushed. The resulting material is used in the manufacture of new batteries.
What kind of metals can be reclaimed from a mobile phone?
All metals, such as gold, silver, palladium, platinum, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, bismuth, indium, selenium, tellurium, antimony and arsenic, are reclaimed from recycled mobile phones. Depending on the use of the reclaimed metal, some are reused in alloys and some are separated. The average metal contents in a ton of mobile phone scrap (excluding batteries) are 3.5 kg of silver, 340 g of gold, 140 g of palladium and 130 kg of copper.
Will old mobile phones be used in making new ones? What else is made from old device parts?
Besides new devices that will be manufactured out of recycled materials, they will be used for manufacturing the following products among others:
• Musical instruments (metals)
• Garden furniture (plastics)
• Dental fillings (metals)
• Traffic safety products (plastics)
• Jewellery (metals)
Can I in any way follow what will happen to my mobile phone after it has been recycled?
We have considered a tracking possibility for a returned device. For now, we have not implemented tracking as we wish to ensure that it will not involve any data security risks.