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Due to rising use of smartphone technologies widening the base of phones available for recycling, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on cell phone recycling.

Revenue for the cell phone recycling industry is estimated to reach $827.5 million over the 5 years to 2016, representing an annualized growth of 15.8 percent over the period. Growth slowed in 2016 to 11.4 percent as declining copper prices reduced the amount of revenue operators obtained for scrap material.

Cell phones are often recycled for scrap materials such as copper, palladium, silver and gold. Falling commodity prices, such as the price of copper, have cut into the average industry profit margin. Nevertheless, demand for industry services has risen steadily as increasingly high-end consumer devices have entered the industry and as consumers with rising disposable incomes tend to quickly upgrade to the newest smartphones.

Regulations at the state level have significantly benefited industry operators. For example, in 2011 Utah passed a law that requires companies to educate consumers about locations where they can recycle electronics.

For the full report, visit IBISWorld’s Cell Phone Recycling in the U.S. industry report page.

Published in the January 2017 Edition of American Recycler News