A Word About Recycling with Ollie Maier

With the gift-giving holiday season here, knowing new cell phones could be on the list, a few recent items concerning them caught our eye.

The first was from USA Today. The article mentioned according to a recent survey, more than three-fourths of Americans have cell phone. And these owners used the cell phones more than five hours each day. This is almost double the hours spent on them just three years prior.

Little wonder that we see people using cell phones wherever they may be: in stores, restaurants, on the sidewalk, etc. This brings up another point mentioned about their use, some states have passed/others are considering, a law against using the cell phone when walking across the street.

The number of accidents pedestrians have is up sharply because of cell phone use. They are so into what is being said/in the text, they become oblivious to what is happening around them. It can be funny when we see someone walk into a light post because of using their cell phone, not so funny when they get hit by a car because of it.

So what has all this on cell phones got to do with recycling? Well, because some users must always have the latest model, their older one gets recycled. Another article, this one in the EScrap newsletter, addressed the new iPhone X.

Two different companies looked into what these new phones are made of. One looked at how repairable they are – if it can be repaired, it won’t be recycled quite as soon – and the other company looked at what makes them so costly.

“Device repair hub iFixit conducted a teardown of the phone and gave it a six out of 10 on the repairability scale – 10 denotes easiest to repair.”

Although it was rated high for ease of display and battery replacement, the company didn’t like “the fact that it has glass on its rear side, doubling the likelihood of drop damage.”

Additionally, if this rear glass breaks, it means “every component of the entire chassis must be removed and replaced during repair.”

That would mean more expense.

Speaking of expense, another company looked at why the new phone might be so expensive and what might be the cost to Apple to produce it. They found this phone, which has a starting selling price of $999, has parts in it which are valued at about $370.

This tells a little about how much profit the Apple company might be making on each and also how much they are trying to recoup for their research and development expenses. It also tells me why we don’t need one to replace what I currently have.

Till next week, do have a great one...

--Ollie is a local citizen concerned with the environment and helping others. A retired Air Force fighter and instructor pilot, he is a graduate of Leadership San Marcos and received his degrees at Texas State University where he worked on staff before totally retiring. For questions or comments, he invites you to call him at 512-353-7432 or e-mail omaier@txstate.edu

San Marcos Daily Record

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