Can I Recycle My Old Phone?

How to Recycle Your Old Phone

Opening up a new cellphone box is exciting. After you’ve peeled off that satisfyingly clingy plastic cover you look over at your old phone and think, what should I do with you now? Of course, you never want to just trash your old phone. Once buried in a landfill, cellphones can leak chemicals into the ground, contaminating nearby water sources.

If you want to learn how to properly recycle your old cellphone continue reading below. No matter what kind of phone you have or how old it is, you can do a world of good by following these cellphone recycling tips.

Wipe Your Cellphone Clean

Whether you have a basic “feature” phone or a smartphone, the process is essentially the same. Open the settings menu and look for your phone’s factory reset option. You should find it pretty easily on a basic phone. For smartphones, you might have to click through a few different menus.

  • On iPhones, head to: Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings
  • On Android phones, head to: Settings > System > Reset (or Backup & Reset) > Factory Data Reset > Reset Phone > Erase Everything

Make sure you back up anything you want to save using a cloud service or your phone’s built-in backup program. After deleting your personal data, remove the SIM card and deactivate your phone from your service provider’s network. You’re now ready to donate or recycle your phone.

Where to Donate Your Old Cellphone


ECO-CELL is on a mission to reuse and recycle as many cellphones as possible for the good of the environment. They partner with Credo Mobile to offer a free mail-in program for old cellphones that are then sold or recycled. Credo donates 100 percent of the proceeds from this program to nonprofit organizations, including environmental groups.

You can find a drop-off location near you at ECO-CELL.

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Interested in helping a solider overseas? Check out this Cell Phones for Soldiers donation program. Despite the name, this group doesn’t send your donated cellphone to a soldier. Instead, they sell or recycle your old cellphone, the funds from which provides prepaid calling cards and emergency funding for military families.

Visit Cell Phones for Soldiers to learn how to donate your old cell phone.


Where to Recycle Your Old Cellphone

Cellphones contain a lot of recyclable metals and other materials. Over 350,000 cellphones are disposed of every day, and its up to you to either reuse or recycle your old phones. With so many options, you can easily find a way to give your phone new life.

Below are two options you can choose from when recycling your old phone.

Best Buy

Retailers usually have their own electronics recycling programs to ensure old devices are kept out of landfills. Best Buy, in fact, runs one of the largest programs. For cellphones specifically, Best Buy offers a trade-in value estimator that can tell you exactly how much your old phone is worth. Even if yours has no reported value, you can still send it in or drop it off at your local store for recycling.


Local Recycling Centers

Governments at the city or county level typically provide electronics recycling programs or offer resources for finding local recycler’s in your area. Earth911’s recycling database can help you pin down a drop-off location near you.


We hope you found this post helpful when deciding what to do with your old cellphone. Remember, it may seem insignificant to you where your phone ends up, but it has a lasting impact on our environment. Make the smart decision and properly dispose of your old phones, batteries, medication and other materials you know may be harmful to the environment.

If you have debris or household waste you want properly disposed call us at Dumpster Rental Inc! 

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