As mobile technology improves, many of the cell phones people are using are becoming outdated at an increasingly-faster rate. This is especially the case in Japan, where the latest cell phone can be usurped by another within a few weeks. In fact, the Japanese are so far advanced in cell phone technology that they've had a difficult time taking their cell phones global. So, what does one do with a bunch of outdated phones that nobody wants? Recycle them for their precious metals!
Nipponn Mining and Metals is an urban mining factory which specializes in the recycling of old, unwanted cell phones. Cell phones contain metals many wouldn't expect, such as: nickel, copper, gold, silver, platinum, zinc, and lead. In Japan, nearly 75 percent of the 140 million people own cell phones, and they replace them every year-and-a-half on average. This can amount to a hefty mineral yield!
Although Japan is well ahead of every other nation in terms of mobile phone technology, it won't be long before other countries will be dealing with an excess of cell phones as well. Around four billion people use cell phones currently, and this number is expected to rise to about 80 percent of the world's population in 2013. As the number of users increase and technology improves, this means a lot of cell phones will be cast away. Given the increasingly greener direction global business is heading, it wouldn't be surprising to see recycling operations similar to Nipponn's sprouting up in other countries.