The 6 steps of recycling

Curious about how we turn old mobiles into new possibilities? Here's an insight into our recycler TES's process. As well as being highly efficient, this process provides a complete breakdown of chemical compounds. That means it prevents potentially damaging chemical compounds (such as dioxins and furans) from reforming and threatening the environment.

Recycling Process Infographic

Step 1: Sorting

First, phones are dismantled and sorted into the following components: batteries (NiCad, NiMetHyd, Lithium Ion), printed circuit boards, handsets, chargers/accessories, plastics, metals and paper/cardboard packaging.

Step 2: Batteries

Batteries are sorted into their chemical types.  All lithium ion and nickel metal hydride (NiMetHyd) batteries are shipped to

 TES in Singapore where they're processed for cobalt, lithium and nickel.  All Nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries are shipped to KOBAR Ltd in South Korea where they are processed for nickel (to make stainless steel), cadmium (to make new batteries) and copper.

Step 3: Circuits

Circuit boards are stored and then shipped to TES in Singapore where they are processed for precious metals including gold, silver, copper and lead.

Step 4: Casings

The plastics in a mobile phone case are shredded and used to produce composite plastic products like pallets.  

Step 5: Accessories and Mixed Plastics

Copper wiring is sent to local metal recyclers for recovery. Other accessories and mixed plastics are processed by TES in Singapore. Here, they are shredded and the plastics are separated from the ferrous and non-ferrous metals for re-use. The plastics are used to make  shipping pallets and the metals sold on to manufacturers.

Step 6: Packaging

Packaging is separated into plastic and paper and sent to local recyclers for processing.