In today’s world, cell phones are the most commonly used devices. It is interesting to know how much of a waste they are. Cell phones can be recycled for up to 10 years and can be sold for cash or at a discount price.
In this section, we want to talk about 10 places where you can recycle your old mobile phone.
EcoATM is an automated kiosk that collects your unwanted cell phones and tablets and gives you cash for them. It’s made by the same people who make CoinStar, so you’ll find them by the checkout lines at various grocery store chains. It accepts devices from any era or in any condition, and offers anywhere between a few bucks to a few hundred dollars in return. EcoATM partners with R2 certified e-waste reclamation facilities to ensure they are recycled, or gives the phones a second life.
Eco-Cell is a Louisville, Kentucky-based e-waste recycling company. It partners with nonprofits and organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute. Bins are located in coffee shops and other businesses around the country, where the collected phones are shipped to Eco-Cell in Louisville. If the phones are reusable, they resell them and pass some of the money back to the owner. If they are not reusable, the phones are recycled, and the owner is paid the money for the value of the recycled materials.
3. Best Buy
Best Buy has recycling kiosks in its stores in the U.S., as well as recycling in-store for no charge to you. The company typically limits it to three items per family, per day. From there, Best Buy works with recycling companies to make sure the phones and other electronics don’t end up in landfills.
4. Hope Phones
The Hope Phones campaign was started in 2009 by Medic Mobile, which works to advance health care in 16 countries by using mobile technology. Individuals, nonprofits, groups or businesses can host a Hope Phones campaign to donate old phones. The mobile devices are recycled and valued, so the nonprofit can get new technology for the field. Most old models are valued at $5, but newer smartphones are regularly valued at $80, according to the website.
5. Cell Phones for Soldiers
Cell Phones for Soldiers is a nonprofit that works to provide cost-free communication services to active-duty military and veterans. New or gently used mobile phones are accepted, and each device valued at $5 turns into 2.5 hours of free talk time for the soldiers.
Gazelle is one of the most popular trade-in options for old cell phones. The company is headquartered in Boston, with locations in Louisville, Kentucky and in Texas. Select your phone’s brand, model and carrier, plug in what kind of shape it’s in, and then get an offer. Ship it for free, and receive a check or a gift card to Amazon.com or PayPal after Gazelle checks it out and makes sure it’s worth what you say it is.
Call2Recycle is a no-cost recycling program for batteries and cell phones in the U.S. and Canada. It has collection boxes that can be placed anywhere that have shipping permits, so mailing them is easy. Call2Recycle also has bulk shipping if there is a large number of recyclables.
8. Your carrier
AT&T has a trade-in program for unwanted phones and accessories regardless of manufacturer or carrier. The owner gets a “promotion card” that can be used to take money off a new phone or other purchase. Make sure you erase all your information before you turn them in, though.
Verizon also offers a trade-in program where the owner can receive an electronic gift card once they send in the phone and have it appraised.
9. Local places
Your city undoubtedly has places to recycle old phones. Most local government websites, like New York’s, have directions of where to go to recycle phones. A lot of cities usually have nonprofits that donate old phones as well. The EPA has an option to find out what electronics you can recycle with mail-in options.
10. Recycling for Charities
This nonprofit features one charity at a time, for which they donate money from recycling old phones. All makes and models are welcome at Recycling for Charities, and the phone condition is not an issue. The nonprofit makes an attempt to refurbish the device first; if the phone cannot be reused, they find recycling centers to ensure the materials won’t go into landfills.
These 10 services are well-researched and well-known options, but make sure to research on your own where your phone is being sent to be certain the device will go to a certified e-waste recycler, so it doesn’t end up in a landfill despite your efforts.