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How to eCycle Cell Phonesposted by Joe on March 29th, 2012 - 9:44 am | Consumer Issues
If you recently purchased a new cell phone, you may be wondering what you should do with your old one. Instead of simply throwing it away or allowing it to clutter up your home, put it towards a good cause – recycle it!
Nearly 14 million Americans recycled their old cell phones in 2007. Today, donating your old cell phones and cell phone accessories, such as cell phone chargers, cell phone batteries, and PDAs, is easier than ever.
Many people are unaware that donating your old cell phone and cell phone accessories can greatly benefit your community. If your old cell phones and cell phone accessories are still in good working order, certain programs can contribute them to worthy charities. Old cell phones and PDAs can also be sold at discount prices to those who need them.
Recycling old cell phones, PDAs, and cell phone accessories benefits the environment in many ways. It not only saves energy, but it also keeps usable materials out of landfills and helps people and businesses save time and money by reusing products and materials.
Cell phones and PDAs contain various reusable manufactured parts, such as copper, plastic, and precious metals. Each of these parts requires energy to mine and manufacturer. Recycling these types of devices can conserve these materials and allow them to be turned into new products.
Where Can I Go to Recycle or Donate My Old Cell Phone?
People who would like to recycle or donate their old cell phones, PDAs, or cell phone accessories can find cell phone collection programs throughout the United States. Examples of organizations that may take your old cell phones include cell phone manufacturers, certain charities, network carriers, retailers, and local and state waste programs. Call these locations to ask if they would be willing to recycle your old devices.
Drop It Off or Mail It In
Dropping off your old cell phone, PDA, or cell phone accessories to a cell phone retailer is an efficient way to recycle. Some wireless providers will even offer money for old cell phones for those willing to sign a new contract with the company. Old cell phones, PDAs, and cell phone accessories can also be mailed into a cell phone retailer, where they will either recycle or donate the device.
- Before you drop off or mail in your old cell phone or PDA, ensure that all your data has been erased from the device. Also be sure that your cell phone service contract has been terminated.
- There are several things you can do to ensure that all of your personal information has been fully removed from your device and that it’s ready to be dropped off to a local retailer or mailed in. Manually delete all of the information from your cell phone or PDA, remove the SIM card, and contact your phone manufacturer or service provider for instructions. Additionally, use a data erasing tool, such as the ReCellular’s Cell Phone Data Eraser, to clear your device.
- For additional tips and advice to think about when recycling or donating your cell phone, PDA, or cell phone accessories – visit the CTIA-The Wireless Association’s Recycling Program Wireless…. The New Recyclable.
- To learn more about what happens to your cell phone once it is recycled, and to hear the answers to common questions about cell phone recycling, listen to the EPA’s podcast on cell phone recycling.
For more information about cell phone donation and recycling, visit the following sources:
- A Project of EarthWorks: Why Recycle My Cell Phone?
- Department of Environmental Conservation: Recycling Wireless Telephones
- Federal Trade Commission: The 411 on Disposing Of Your Old Cell Phone
- Cell Phones for Soldiers: Help Our Troops Call Home
- Volunteer Guide: Cell Phone Recycling-Donate Your Old Mobile Phone
- Recycling for Charities: Donate
- St. Louis Missouri: Cellular Phones – Reuse and Recycle
- Seattle Public Utilities: Cell Phones
- Greener Choices: Electronics Reuse and Recycling Center
- Waste Care: Cell Phone Recycling
- The Secret Life Series: Frequently Asked Questions
- Natural Resources Defense Council: What To Do About E-Waste
- Socially Responsible Reuse of Cellphones