Recycling Your Old Devices

Technology is always improving, changing, and upgrading. Most likely, this means you want to regularly upgrade your cell phone to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. But what should you do with your old phone? Before you toss it, consider recycling it.

Recycling phones is a new environmentally friendly way to get rid of phones that no longer prove useful. In 2011, the United States made it against the law for electronic goods to end up in landfills. Lead, mercury, cadmium and other potentially harmful chemicals can all be found in every day electronics. Putting these hazardous chemicals in landfills can end up contaminating the environment and potentially harming the population as well. Luckily, there are some good options for these unwanted devices.

Donate it.
A great way to recycle your phone is to simply donate it. There are numerous organizations that accept cell phone donations. To name a few:

Cell Phones For Soldiers – Places cell phones in the hands of active military members

Cell Phone Bank – Supports participating law enforcement and victims service agencies

Secure the Call – Supports over 350 law enforcement agencies, senior centers and domestic abuse shelters

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Electronics donations help fund programs for victims of domestic violence

The Julian Center – Supports victims of domestic violence

There are many more great causes out there; try conducting a Google search to see if your favorite cause participates in an electronic recycling program.

Resell it.
Another great way to get rid of old electronics is to simply sell it for money. Several websites will offer you money for your phone, and some will even pay for shipping. Some examples of these websites are Filpswap, Gazelle, and

Trade it.
Check with your carrier to see if your old phone has any trade in value! Companies like Verizon and Sprint have trade in programs that will appraise your device and offer you rebates, cash, or gift cards in exchange. Verizon also supports Hopeline, a program that connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide, and protects the environment through e-waste recycling.

Pass it.
In the end, the easiest way to recycle your old phone is to pass it on to someone else. Whether it be a parent, younger sibling, elderly neighbor, or less fortunate individual, you can save someone else money by simply passing it on.

According to a press release issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “if Americans recycled the approximately 130 million cell phones that are disposed of annually, enough energy would be saved to power more than 24,000 homes in a year.” EPA and its Plug-In partners (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Best Buy, etc.) are sponsoring activities across the country to promote cell phone recycling. The EPA states that only 10 percent of cell phones are recycled at present; most end up in the trash and, ultimately, one of many environmentally harmful landfills. Most cell phones are made from copper, plastics, and various precious metals. For every one million recycled phones, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium, and 36 pounds of copper are able to be recovered.


At first it may sound like a hassle to recycle your old phone and may just be easier to throw it away, but these options will help some people out and will lessen the harmful effects of e-waste and will help improve the environment. Let’s go green and reduce, reuse, recycle!