How to Recycle a Cell Phone

That our planet is facing the serious danger of environmental pollution is not an exaggerated statement. In fact, the dangers of this pollution have already started staring us on our face. Several types of diseases that are triggered by such pollution have already begun to affect people. Researchers are concerned about the negative impact and dangers that can be caused by free radicals that keep getting stronger and stronger due to environmental pollution.

Cell Phone Recycling

Electronic gadgets have added a new dimension to this problem of environmental pollution. It has been found that if old gadgets are not disposed of wisely, they can cause serious harm to the environment. In other words, that electronic waste or e-waste is polluting the environment unimaginably is a bitter truth we all should accept and should be ready to tackle. In fact, the damage that can be caused by the chemicals that are released by such e-waste into the eco-system can pose a very serious threat to our planet. That is the reason every one of us is advised to be careful while disposing of our old electronic gadgets such as laptops, computers, and of course, our mobile phones. 

To save our planer from such e-waste, researchers have come out with the concept of recycling the waste. Let us now find out how we can recycle a cell phone.

It is better to rely on official recycling programs.

Instead of throwing your old phones into the garbage or landfills, it is better to rely on official recycling programs that adopt wise ways to recycle the e-waste. Remember that the waste in electronic gadgets like your cell phones is not like regular trash. It contains dangerous chemicals. But before you utilize these official recycling programs and hand over your old cell phones, you should ensure that the phones do not contain any of your personal information. This suggestion is made to safeguard you from the possible hassles that may arise due to making available your personal details to evil-minded folks with nefarious intentions who are out there. In short, this suggestion is for ensuring your safety and security.

The big names in the cell phone industry have their own recycling programs.

The good news is that almost all the big players in the cell phone industry have put in place their own recycling programs. For example, if you have an old iPhone, you can visit the nearest store that deals with Apple products and hands over the device by providing all the details they require. They will take the process further to ensure that your old iPhone is recycled suitably that it will not cause any damage to the environment. It appears that Apple has put in place a scheme of giving gift cards, etc. to their customers because they aim to encourage such customers to opt for their recycling programs. These gift cards can be used for making a purchase of new Apple items.

Similarly, Samsung has also come out with a program that they have named as Take-Back program using which you can surrender your old Samsung mobile phones for being recycled. Likewise, LG has set up a number of drop-off points for dropping your old LG devices so they will collect them and send them for recycling. HTC of the US has gone a step further and they accept old mobile devices of any brand for recycling.

Dell is another company that keenly follows ethical ways for helping people dispose of their old electronic gadgets for recycling. They have put up recycling bins in various places so customers like you can deposit old gadgets like cell phones in the bins.

Cell phone disposal

What if you do not want to send your old mobile phones to the original company?

Best Buy

If you do not want to send your old devices to the original company, you can make use of the services of companies like Best Buy that has hundreds of stores all over the U.S. The company has put in place an ethical program using which they will ensure to dispose your old cell phones in the right manner. You need not come to the conclusion that Best Buy will help you in disposing of only your old mobile devices. The fact is that their program will help in disposing of all types of electronic gadgets because their aim is to recycle them in the most ethical manner. Simply put, they do not want the environment to be polluted by the chemicals that are likely to be released from your old electronic devices, regardless of what they are.


Eco-Cell is another recycling company that takes care of e-waste recycling. The company is Kentucky-based.


Staples is another company that has put in place a comprehensive recycling program for helping customers like you in their efforts to dispose of their old mobile phones. Their program is an improvised one in the sense that if your old cell phone is in working condition, despite the fact that you are trying to send it for recycling, they will provide you with what is known as Staples credit that you can use for any other purpose you choose. You can send your old cell phone through mail or you can drop it at any of their stores.

Are there other cell phone makers or carriers who can help you in your recycling efforts?

Yes. You have carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint that can help you with their recycling programs. You can visit their stores and hand over your old devices. As Staples is offering a scheme, these companies have also put in place trade-in value schemes using which you can buy new items.

Donating to charity is another great option.

If you have old cell phones, you can donate them to charity also. If the cell phones are in working condition, you can hand them over to charity organizations in the same condition. Even if there are small repairs, you can get them done and hand them over to those organizations for the benefit of those who may need them.

There are websites such as Recycling for charities, phones4charity,, and so on. You can mail your phones to them and get the proceeds from them. You can give the proceeds as well to these charity organizations. 

There are a few other organizations such as National Coalition against Domestic Violence, Hope Phones that is also called Medic Mobiles, and Cell Phones for Soldiers that can help you in your charity efforts.

Are there official and state-sponsored recycling programs?

Yes. Many of the states in the U.S. have put in place their own sponsored programs for helping people in their efforts to recycle their old mobile phones. For example, in New York state, every cell phone store has to accept old cell phones that are handed over to them for recycling purposes. The same rule has been introduced in California as well.

Washington state has gone a step further and they have set up an official scheme for e-cycling e-waste like your old cell phones. You have to visit the relevant site on the web and give the details of your zip code. You will get all the information pertaining to how and where you should mail your old devices like the cell phones. Illinois has provided a list of recyclers that they have approved officially for the benefit of customers like you.

Automated kiosks.

Thanks to the advancements in the technology, you now have automated kiosks as well. For example, EcoATM has set up automated kiosks for collecting your unwanted and old cell phones, tablets, etc. You will get cash for the gadgets you deposit in the kiosks.

Other companies that can help you in your recycling efforts.

Chicago Shredder Company.

Chicago Shredder Company is into various types of businesses that include mobile banking, loans, etc. But they help in securing e-waste, and data as well. According to them, they have one-stop recycling buttons for helping customers like you to dispose of your old electronic gadgets. Apart from cell phones, they will help in recycling toners, lamps, and batteries as well. They offer pick-up services using which you can call them to your place for picking up your old electronic gadgets. You have drop options also which means you have to visit their drop-points and drop your old cell phones or other gadgets you do not want any more. 

They conduct events as well for encouraging judicious disposal of e-waste. This means that in the events they undertake to conduct, they will ensure that the waste that gets generated is disposed of judiciously. In other words, they will send the waste generated in the events for recycling. 

Such initiatives go a long way in educating people about the importance of disposing of their old electronic gadgets in a safe and wise manner. This is very important because there are a number of people who still do not know how dangerous it can be if they ignore the importance of recycling their old electronic gadgets that include cell phones. These ignorant folks should understand the fact that if they casually throw their old and useless gadgets like cell phones into the garbage or land-fills, the chemicals released by these gadgets can severely pollute the environment, thus causing harm to the whole of humanity. In this context, the initiatives taken by companies like Chicago Shredder is certainly commendable.

AVA Recycling.

Similar to Chicago Shredder Company, AVA Recycling has also put in place pick-up facilities for collecting old electronic gadgets like the cell phones. You have to just intimate to them that you have old gadgets with you and that you do not want to dispose them of in the traditional ways. Once they come to know that you are eager to send the devices for recycling, they will arrange to send their vehicles and personnel to pick up your old gadgets.

Of course, they have set up drop points as well. You have to visit those places and drop whatever electronic devices you want to recycle.

They have also put up large bins as well as smaller ones in various places for helping customers like you to drop off your old gadgets of large size as well as smaller devices like the cell phones. 

Like Chicago Shredder Company, AVA Recycling also conducts events in which they ensure to dispose of the waste generated in such a manner that it will not pollute the environment. This means that they will send the waste that is bound to get generated in such events is sent for recycling. 


MicroAnt is another company that has been started with the noble intention of disposing of unwanted electronic devices in a proper manner so they do not cause any type of harm to the environment. That is why the company has put in place appropriate processes by which you can request them to visit your place and pick up your electronic waste. They help customers have services such as data destruction also. 

The company is having a blog as well on their website. They ensure to put up regular posts on the blog. The intention is to educate the general public about the importance of disposing of electronic waste in a wise manner. This means that the company is eager that every individual should have social conscience and ensure that the e-waste they generate is recycled in the right manner.


E-Scrap is yet another company that offers e-waste solutions of high quality. Apart from offering e-data destruction services and other services related to it, the company is offering electronic recycling services as well. According to the company, they possess comprehensive knowledge that can help their clients in simplifying their waste disposal compliance process.

They offer e-waste solutions that suit the needs of clients in various fields. In fact, they have a number of clients from industries such as telecommunications, insurance, data centers, health care, municipal offices, financial and banking, and so on. Even residents and government departments can utilize their e-cycling solutions and benefit immensely. 

Like MicroAnt, e-Scrap is also having a blog on their website. They regularly put up posts on the blog for educating people about the importance of disposing of electronic waste in the right manner. Their posts talk about the importance as well as the efficacy of e-waste recycling and hence, their initiative is certain to positively impact the way how people perceive the issue of environmental pollution that is caused by e-waste.

How to recycle cell phones

A few points to remember.

1. You have to reduce e-waste to the maximum extent possible. Remember that even small initiatives will go a long way in creating a positive impact. For example, if you find that an electronic device like a cell phone that is no more of use is there in your house, you should immediately ensure to dispose it of by mailing it to a recycling company or dropping it at any of their drop-points. You should advise your friends and relatives also to take such initiatives. Such joint efforts will create a big positive impact and will certainly reduce the damages that may be caused by e-waste pollution.

2. Stores that deal with electronic gadgets and devices should also become conscious of the serious problem e-waste pollution can inflict on our environment. Therefore, they should also take all appropriate steps for reducing the e-waste generated in their shops. Though they cannot completely avoid generation of such waste, they can take the right step of disposing the waste of in the right manner. In other words, they can send the e-waste to the recycling companies for getting them recycled.  

3. Big companies should play a bigger role in reducing the impact of environmental pollution that may be caused by the e-waste that is generated in their organizations. In fact, e-waste generation in such big companies may be huge. Hence, they should regularly review the situation and ensure to send the e-waste to the recycling companies. 

Another good idea is to have a tie-up with an e-waste recycling company so the company will visit these big offices at regular intervals, collect all the e-waste that may have got accumulated and send it for recycling.  

4. Handing over old cell phones to charity organizations is a great idea. But the phones you are providing them with should be in working condition. Even if there are minor repairs, you should ensure to get them rectified before handing them over to these organizations. Of course, there are chances of you getting some proceeds out of this. You can donate these proceeds as well to the charity organizations. 

5. Cellphones for soldiers is an organization that collects all the old cell phones for providing soldiers with them. Soldiers who are away from their families and who discharge their duties in harsh conditions deserve all your love and attention. If your old phone will be of some use to a soldier, you should feel immensely happy about it.

To summarize, people should become more socially conscious. Though getting their personal needs fulfilled is not a sin, they should learn to think beyond it. As members of communities and societies, it is the responsibility of everyone of us to ensure that the environment we live in is clean and free mainly from free radicals. A lot of research has gone into the negative impact as well as the harms that can be caused by free radicals. It is the environmental pollution that makes these free radicals strong so they inflict severe damage to the health of people. 

The chemicals that get released out of improperly disposed of electronic gadgets including our old mobile phones can cause a severe impact on the environment. That is the reason you are advised to refrain from throwing your old cell phones or other electronic gadgets into dust bins, garbage, or landfills. In fact, it has been found that the groundwater beneath the landfills that have such electronic waste in them is not fit for use. Even plants that grow in such areas do not survive for long.

In other words, if you ensure to dispose of your old electronic gadgets like cell phones in the right manner, you can prevent such dangerous things from occurring. The only way to dispose of such old gadgets is to get them recycled. 

There is an umpteen number of options available for you and these options include the simplest ones as well. Can you not call a recycling company and request them to pick your old cell phone? In fact, people are wasting or squandering their time on a number of unnecessary things. If they spend a fraction of their time for attending to such socially responsible causes, they will benefit and they will help others benefit as well. ​

In fact, you are not asked to do big things to prove that you are a socially responsible person. Not only that, the suggestions made here are only for your own benefit. Remember that it is a question of survival and healthy living. We all know that cell phone towers and the waves that emanate from them are responsible for the extinction of small birds like sparrows, etc. Such a fate should not befall on humanity. The only way to escape from such a colossal danger is to be judicious in our ways. One of the ways is to get our old electronic gadgets disposed of in the right manner. This means that getting this e-waste recycled is the only option available to us. It is the only option that will help us lead a healthy life.


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