The use of cellphones has taken the world by storm! It seems that almost everyone owns a cell phone these days, even those in developing countries that never had access to the infrastructure of a land line .
Cell phones help to keep us connected to one another in a busy world, and they can save our lives in an emergency situation. They have revolutionized our personal communication and are even shaping the way that businesses are being run in our world today.
However, with all of the cell phones that are being used globally, and with all of the constantly changing technology and our continual upgrading to new phones, our beloved cell phones have become a big problem in the waste stream.
Cell phone technology is important for keeping us connected to one another, but because they contain many materials such as precious metals that can pollute the environment and damage human health, it is important to responsibly recycle them when we no longer need them.
Why you should recycle your old cell phone?
Like many other electronic devices, cell phones contain many components that are made of toxic chemicals such as heavy metals.
Cell phones in the waste stream can slowly leak corrosive chemicals into soil and water.
Examples of some dangerous substances include nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead, which can leach into the environment from improperly discarded cell phones and take 20 or more years to break down.
Lithium, the main ingredient in cell phone batteries, can harm both the nervous system and vital organs, and nickel, cadmium and silver have been linked to similar effects .
While one cell phone in the trash may not be a big problem, millions of these devices pose a significant problem to both our health and the environment .
Not only are these trashed cell phones a big source of pollution, but it is also wasteful not to reuse the metals and the other materials that these phones contain.
Realizing that discarded cell phones have become a problem in the waste stream, many companies and organizations have developed collection programs that recycle these old cell phones into new cell phones and other electronic devices.
Some of the best cell phone collection programs for consumers are cell phone buyback programs, where you actually get paid to recycle your old cell phones!
How great is it that you can earn money for recycling something that you had to get rid of anyway?
Where can you find cell phone buyback programs?
Cell phone buyback programs can be found at:
- carrier outlets
- retail stores
One of the most well-known online cell phone buyback programs out there is Gazelle.com, which allows you to ship your phone to them for free and offers a quick payout.
Another good option when selling your old mobile phone is price comparison site SellCell.com. They compare all of the key phone and tablet BuyBack companies like previously mentioned Gazelle, BuyBackWorld and Decluttr, saving time for the user.
They also warrant that they will pay out the maximum amount for the old phone by offering a best price guarantee. If the user finds the higher price than they offer on another site, SellCell will refund double the difference.
The company is also committed to adding only Green BuyBack partners who recycle phones ethically.
Another alternative: cell phone donation programs
In addition to properly recycling used cell phones, another viable option is to donate your used phone to someone who can use it if it still works well. This is an excellent way to extend the life of your phone before it needs to be recycled.
There are many charitable organizations that will accept donated cell phones, and they will either refurbish them for reuse or sell them to raise funds to support their mission . Some organizations will even accept broken cell phones, so be sure to research their donation guidelines.
Many of these organizations will accept phone donations by both mail and in person . Just be sure that whoever receives your phone will responsibly recycle it at the end of its usable life.
Where to donate old cell phones?
Examples of charitable organizations that accept used cell phone donations include shelters for victims of domestic violence, zoos and other conservation organizations, animal rescue organizations, camping programs for children, schools, and programs for soldiers that allow them to keep in touch with family members at home .
Most cell phone providers and manufacturers also now offer donation programs but be sure to research what they will do with the used phones once they receive them.
To learn more about a few of the charitable organizations that accept cell phone donations, this is a great resource to start with.
Before you donate your phone, be sure to erase all of your personal data and reset the phone to the factory settings. While many organizations promise to wipe your personal data for you, you cannot be certain that this will always occur. Also make sure that you have cancelled your wireless service or transferred it to your new phone to avoid having to pay for another user’s calls.