Getting a mobile phone used to be a big deal but these days most people have them, and many are getting a new phone every year or two. That’s a lot of extra electronic rubbish that often finds its way into landfills, even though the devices contain recyclable materials. If you’re getting a new phone, consider recycling your old one instead: it’s easy, costs you nothing, and in some cases you can even get a few pounds for your old devices.
Before you recycle your old phone, consider this: do you really need that new phone your service provider is offering you? Getting new “toys” is always fun, but are you getting that new device because you actually need a new one, or just out of habit because it’s being offered? If your current phone is still perfectly good, the better choice, environmentally speaking, is to take the cash offer instead. And getting cash is always nice too, especially since it means you’re free to spend it on anything you like. If you genuinely do need a new phone, consider one of the following ways to recycle your old one.
Earn Cash for Your Old Phone
One easy way to recycle an old mobile phone is to use a web-based recycling company. There are quite a few of these around, including Envirofone, Fonebank, Mazuma Mobile, and Mobile Phone Xchange. All of these sites offer pretty much the same service: you enter your mobile phone’s make and model number, and the site quotes you a price, which is dependent mostly on the make and model. Newer models are worth more than older phones, and the phone will also fetch a higher price if it’s in good working order and has minimal wear and tear. If the phone still has its original battery it’s worth more too. Depending on all these factors, you might be offered anywhere between £5 and £200 for your old phone. Each site may offer you a slightly different quote, so it pays to check several sites before choosing one to deal with. There are also a few sites that allow you to enter your phone information and get quotes back from several different sites at a time, which can make the process a little bit faster. However, such sites won’t necessarily provide quotes from all sites, so you may not necessarily get the best possible price.
Once you’ve chosen a site to deal with, you just accept the offer that’s made, and you’ll then receive some instructions on what to do next. Generally what happens is that you’ll enter your address, and be sent a prepaid envelope, which you then use to send your phone for recycling. Once your phone is received it’s tested to make sure it’s in the condition that you specified. When that’s confirmed you’re sent a cheque via mail. If your phone doesn’t pass testing you might be offered a reduced price, or the phone might be returned to you.
What Happens to Recycled Phones?
Mobile phones that are still in good working order are typically refurbished and sold on for use in less developed countries. In these countries they’re put to good use, often in places where landlines aren’t available.
Even if a phone is too old to be useful, or if it doesn’t work, many of the parts and materials it contains are still of use. Any parts that aren’t usable are disposed of responsibly.
Or you might consider donating your old mobile phone to a good cause, one such cause is the RSPB learn more here http://www.rspb.org.uk/joinandhelp/otherwaystohelp/green/mobile.aspx.
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