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Japan sees sharp decline in cellphone recycling

Evan Blass

As cellphones become more than just communication tools, incorporating gaming, multimedia, and PIM features, consumers are growing more and more attached to their handsets -- which is leading to a sharp decline in the number of old phones being recycled. According to a 2005 survey by Japan's Telecommunications Carriers Association, respondents cited both nostalgia and concern over potential data leaks as the main reasons they're holding onto old phones, which helps explain the 30% drop in handsets recovered for recycling from 2003 to 2004. Security concerns are so high that some people are turning to crushing machines which punch a hole through the phone's circuit board, in full view of the customer, rendering it useless. Judging by some of the drawers full of old phones that we've seen right here in the US, this is probably not just a Japanese phenomenon, although a slew of new carriers entering that market next year could exacerbate what some see as a growing problem.

[Via textually]

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