How to Recycle Old Cell Phones

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Recycle Old Cell Phones

Many people switch out their cell phones at least once a year or every couple years, but they are left with the dilemma of what to do with their old phones. A consumer may want to throw away his or her old phone, but that is illegal in certain areas, and it is not good for the environment because these phones have certain toxic materials that can seep into the ground. Certain organisations can recycle a lot of the materials in a cell, including copper and other precious metals. If a consumer wants to get rid of an old phone, he or she has a number of options, such as recycling, donating to a non-profit, or trading in the phone.

Parts of a Cell Phone

In order to prepare a cell phone for recycling, it is a good idea for a consumer to know some of the basic parts. These phone parts include the battery, circuit board, and SIM card.



Phone Battery

Powers the phone

Circuit board

Acts as the brain of the phone

SIM card

Stores sensitive information

These are just a few of the basic parts of a cell phone, but the parts can differ by type of phone.

Preparing a Cell Phone for Recycling

Before anyone gets rid of his or her cell, it is important to prepare the phone first, so there is no risk of personal information getting into someone else's hands. The consumer should check whether the phone has a factory reset option that would allow him or her to purge personal information. The consumer should remove or delete the SIM card because it contains a lot of personal information.

Different Methods of Recycling

Although a consumer cannot merely throw away a cell phone, he or she still has quite a few methods of disposal at his or her fingertips. A consumer can give away a phone to a non-profit organisation, trade it in for a better phone, or bring it to a recycling centre.

Recycling Centre

Not all recycling centres take old cell phones, so a consumer should check with a centre in his or her area. There may be certain recycling centres in the area that are able to handle these materials without a risk of causing harm to the environment or others. It is important that the consumer follow all instructions from the centre regarding proper disposal.

Trade In

Although it is not exactly recycling, a cell phone user can trade in his or her old phone to the phone company. It is important for a cell phone user to check whether his or her company accepts old phones. When a consumer upgrades to a new phone, the company may offer some credit for turning in the old phone. A company is more likely to accept a phone for trade-in or give more credit if it is a newer phone, such as a smartphone. If a consumer wants to get a new phone from the same company, he or she should see if it is possible to get some knocked off the price by handing in the used phone.


One of the best ways for a consumer to recycle his or her old cell phone is to donate it to a non-profit. There are many different organisations that take old cell phones. This may be the perfect opportunity for a consumer to get rid of a very old phone that has no trade-in value. Various non-profits also offer different ways to donate an old device. A consumer can drop a cell phone off at a centre or drop-off point or mail it to the organisation. There are even some kiosks in electronic stores and other locations where a consumer can drop off an old phone for donation or recycling, making it easy for a consumer to properly dispose of these electronics.

Sell Old Phone

A final option is selling the phone to a company that trades in second hand phones. These companies typically offer cash for phones and may accept very old phones in addition to newer models.

How to Buy Cell Phones on eBay

If you are looking to purchase a new cell phone to replace the one you are getting rid of, you have a lot of resources available on eBay. One useful tool is the feedback feature because you can see what other buyers have said about both a cell phone and about particular sellers. You can also leave feedback to help future buyers after you have made a purchase. It is important to recycle a cell phone to avoid damage to the environment. Instead of just throwing away a phone, the consumer can give a phone to a non-profit, trade it in, or send it to a recycling centre.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides