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The use of mobile phones has grown exponentially from the first few users in the 1970s, to 1.76 billion in 2004, and more than 3 billion in April 20081. Sooner or later, these phones will be discarded, whole or in parts. In developed countries this quite often takes place sooner before they cease to operate. According to some recent studies, the first owner will generally replace their mobile phone within two years because they want newer features or because the older phones are incompatible with new services. In addition mobile phones are rapidly replacing fixed line phones in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The result of that growth is a waste management problem when such phones reach the ends of their lives.

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