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Europe's largest phone recycling centre to open in Wales

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Europe, send your unwanted mobile phone to... Wales. Well, from November, anyway. In that month, the continent's largest cellphone recycling plant will open its doors for business by logistics specialist Excel.

The company said the £15m plant will be capable of dissassembling and safely disposing of some 500,000 handsets a month. That amounts to 6m phones a year, but will European binning an estimated 125m handsets every 12 months, the plant may put a dent in the problem but it won't remove it.

Excel said around 95 per cent of the handsets the facility will receive will be capable of being refurbished and resold of developing nations for 60 per cent of the cost of a new device. Some might view this approach as a handy way of reducing demand for new phones globally, but to others it might look like passing the disposal problem on to countries less able to deal with it in an environmentally sensitive way.

To encourage Europeans to send their old phones in, Excel said it will offer a bounty for unwanted handsets, the size of the payment depending on the age and condition of the phones. Punters will also be able to choose to have the cash donated to charity, the firm added.

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