Oct 17

In January last year, the European Parliament was forced to pass a new law in order to curb the dumping of electronic goods like phones and computers in landfill sites. Dumping electronic goods in landfills is extremely dangerous to our environment: the toxic chemicals inside pollute the air and groundwater supplies continuously.

From 2016, EU member states must collect 45 tonnes of e-waste for every 100 tonnes of goods put on sale during the preceding three years. Manufacturers have been instructed by law to do the best they can for the environment, by offering their own recycling advice. If you’ve got an iPhone, you’re most likely to want to get rid of it as soon as the next model arrives. This is how you can do it without adding to the e-waste problem.


Contact your manufacturer or network provider

Apple now runs a recycling programme for all their products. If your iPhone (or iPad, or any other Apple product) still has monetary value, they will reimburse you. If not, they will recycle it appropriately and in an environmentally safe way, in exchange for gift vouchers you can cash in at the Apple store.

If you’re looking for better bang for your buck, most mobile network providers also offer money for old iPhones. An iPhone 5 in good condition can get you up to £245 with Virgin Media phone recycling, for instance. It might be a good idea to check your provider’s recycling programme before you sign a contract.


Turn your iPhone into a soundsystem

If you can’t afford to buy the spanking-new sound system you’ve always lusted for, you can just turn your iPhone into a replacement sound system instead. Because it connects to your local iTunes library, you could just connect it to a dock or to another pair of speakers through a headphone jack and use it as a streaming music player.

After you’ve deleted all the apps on your phone except for the radio apps and iTunes, you can fill your phone up with music from your library. Additionally, by keeping your old iPhone-cum-sound system in, say, the kitchen, you’ll be able to use its internet features to look up quick recipes while you jam out.


The camera still has value

Most generations of iPhone still have solid cameras built into them. You could utilise your old iPhone as a photo booth at parties, having it set up in a certain corner. Alternatively, you could use it as a security device. There are various apps you can download to turn your iPhone into a CCTV camera, streaming the video over your Wi-Fi connection.

iPhones are extremely sophisticated pieces of equipment and can definitely outlive their expected lifespan. They are versatile and with the right mindset, you can fashion them into tools for just about anything. You definitely get more value for your money if you choose not to discard it improperly, with the attendant extra damage to the environment.

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