With all the buzz that comes with the release of the iPhone Five, there are some concerns among local environmental leaders.
Just tossing out your old phone is a bad idea.
Millions of people are snatching up the iPhone Five. That means it's time to get rid of their old phones.
The result is tons of unwanted electronics, or e-waste.
"E-waste is becoming a greater and greater problem. When you think about it we are now buying products and replacing them almost on a yearly basis," Cristina Siegel of the Clean Valley Council said.
In fact, in the past 12 years we've bought and replaced more than two million tons of electronics.
It's not just phones. Flat screen TV's are replacing old tube models. Tablets are replacing laptops.
"That's an awful amount of waste and not much of that is being recycled at the moment so that's going into our landfills," Siegel said.
E-waste in landfills is where the real problem starts. Electronics, like smart phones, are full of toxic chemicals like lead, lithium, and mercury.
When it rains, those toxins can get into the soil and ground water.
The iPhone Five is a special case. Unlike earlier models, this iPhone comes with a different sized port for charging and other accessories.
You can buy an adaptor, but some things still won't work. That means more e-waste.
"The technology is very interesting, but we have to come up with a better way. You know, we can't keep on replacing things on a yearly basis or a bi-yearly basis. We need to reuse things a lot more than we're doing," Siegel said.
If it can't be reused, recycle it. Goodwill takes old computers. Companies like Synergy Recycling in Roanoke will take smartphones.