For years now people have been recycling mobile phones, usually both unaware and uncaring about what happens to the phone after they've sealed it in the provided envelope and been paid for it. Most of you probably don't know that phones go to two places – some are reconditioned and sold for a premium in countries that don't get the latest phones due to lower economies with less disposable income, while others are taken apart and the materials mostly recycled. Of course, while selling older phones brings in quite a bit of profit for these companies, recycling the ones that can't be sold on again is rarely a profitable venture. The thing is, mobile phone companies have been expanding their territories steadily for years and pushing into low economic areas with budget models. This has taken a hefty slice of the profit the phone recycling companies used to make from selling reconditioned phones and left them with more models that need to be broken down and recycled, making them start to explore new avenues for turning a profit.
The little beast on the left stands in a large town square in Cluj, Romania. It was commissioned by the Planet Report Environmental Film Festival as part of a project where artists would make sculptures from waste materials. This gigantic Nokia immobile is made from dozens of old mobiles, as well as computer parts, calculators and other recycled technology. It's also awesome.