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How To Recycle Old Cell Phones?

If you’re due for an upgrade from your smartphone to a current high-quality version, it can be difficult to figure out what to do about your old device. When you unplug your smartphone from your plan, it’s just a storage bank full of wonderful moments and contact information. Because you’re not going to toss it away, why not recycle it? Mobile phone disposal can take the shape of a present to a loved one, a charitable donation, or even mailing it to a reputable recycling firm.

Whatever your device’s cyber afterlife seems to entail, there are a few critical measures you must take first to ensure your individual private information is secured. Read on to learn how and where to sell or recycle all of your old gear and contribute to the reduction of e-waste in the environment.


Why should I recycle my old cell phone?

Your old cell phone may appear to be nothing more than junk to you, but it includes precious materials. And if not safely disposed of, it poses a risk to both you and the ecosystem. Check out the following reasons why it is critical to recycle your smartphone in the first place.

Dangerous Substances

There are numerous compounds inside telephones that are hazardous to human health, wildlife, and vegetation. Mobile phones, for instance, contain mercury, which already has historically been linked to brain injury, muscle difficulties, as well as other medical problems. Another prevalent component in phones is lead. It has the potential to cause cancer and neurological harm. There are others, but those are the 2 most harmful. A certified recycling professional will understand how to securely manage the phone’s hazardous components.

Resource Conservation

It seems to be the reason that if you recycle a cell phone, the components can be reused. A device’s gold, soldering, and silicon may all be salvaged and reused. Some commodities, such as rare earth minerals used in technology, can only be obtained from China and might be shut off in the case of a dispute. If your smartphone is no longer functional, a competent recycler can save much of its plastics, metals, and rare earth components. If it still works, you’ll be saving significant natural resources by not having to make another one.

Reducing Waste

You may turn on your cell phone and restrict the amount of garbage reaching the environment if you know how to take care when doing it.  This is motivation enough to recycle an old device.

Saving Money

Imagine how much money you can save by exchanging a basic phone for a newer one. You not only receive a snazzy new cellphone, but you also get a discounted price on it. Some vendors may even provide customers a cash incentive for returning an old phone. So, in relation to the environmental and safety benefits of recycling a cell phone, you can also receive a substantial financial incentive.

How to recycle your old cell phone

If you want to recycle an old smartphone, you should first contact your mobile company. Some provide purchase or trade-in programs, or at the very minimum resources to assist you in locating recycling choices. Take Back initiatives from stores, suppliers, or even other local electronics recycling organizations may be included.

  • Trade it In

On its website about technology donations and disposal, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a few instances. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, for example, provide trade-in programs for select older devices which still function, but they also accept disqualified phones for free disposal, either in their shops or by post. It’s important to ask if other providers have comparable possibilities. Many companies will also take your old device, however, some would only recognize their own goods. Both Apple and Samsung offer trade-in schemes for qualifying older phones.

  • Drop it Off

One alternative is Call2Recycle, a major consumer collection, and recycling program that, according to its homepage, takes “all sorts of mobile phones and smartphone cells irrespective of size, manufacture, brand, or condition.” Call2Recycle collaborates with numerous retail and governmental partnerships around the nation to build a network of battery and smartphone recycling drop-off locations. EcoATM, a business with 4,800 automated telephone terminals across the nation, has also made many thousands of additional drop-off locations accessible. Depending on what type of cell phone and its quality, these shops may purchase it from you, or at the very minimum take it for free disposal.

  • Charity recycling

Unused smartphones could also be given to charity, thanks to organizations that recycle discarded cell phones and utilize the profits to promote a variety of causes. Several zoos in the United States and Canada, notably Zoo Atlanta, the Toronto Zoo, and the Oakland Zoo, take smartphones for recycling and then use the proceeds to finance conservation programs for vulnerable primates.

  • Give it Away

If your cell phone functions but has little trade-in worth, you could ask relatives and friends if someone has an older smartphone and would be interested in having yours. You could also be able to determine somebody who wants it further by contacting local retirement homes and assisted living facilities, or by calling out to women’s shelters and other organizations that assist disadvantaged and at-risk populations.

  • Repurpose It

You might take your old smartphone and recycle it yourself instead of selling, donating, trading, or discarding it. A cell phone lacking cell service could still be important in a variety of ways, such as holding and playing songs like an iPod, acting as an auxiliary camera, or even streaming multimedia and browsing the web when connected to WiFi. According to Lifewire, some ancient iPhones may also be converted into surveillance cameras or Apple Remote controls by downloading the application.

How can I prepare my cell phone for recycling?

If you’re like the majority of the population and plan to swap in your working smartphone for an improvement, you’ll need to prepare it now to guarantee your information is kept safe. Then you may send it to your supplier with confidence, ensuring that none of your sensitive information is on it. This is how to prepare an old device for recycling — or restoring and reselling to another customer:

  • Wash it meticulously: Avoid using ammonia-containing cleansers, which are common in window cleaners. Alternatively, use alcohol.
  • Backup your files entirely: Read the documentation for your smartphone available and apply the exact technique for data backup.
  • Carry out a full reset: Perform a hard reset, which will remove approximately 95 percent of all personally identifiable information on the device.
  • Remove the SD & Sim: Remove any SIM, SD storage, or other storage or capability chips that you may have inserted to the device.
  • Make a note of the make and model: Contact your provider if you do not  know your product code.
  • Core functionality should be tested: Is everything operational? Examine the lighting, recharging ports, audio system, touchpad, home button, cameras, and screen for graphical glitches.

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