Recycle Your Cell Phones

By: Chelsea Olver


Having the newest, best phone on the market is a statement for people today. It is now not only good enough to have the nicest clothes and shoes; you also need to have the latest tech. With companies like Apple, HTC, and Samsung releasing better phones every year, people are flocking the stores, some people waiting for days in line, trying to get their hands on the newest device and are flinging their own phones behind them.


So what happens to their old phones? Some people sell them; others throw them in a drawer at home to waste away until they decide to throw them away somewhere down the line.


Todays landfills receive four cell phones every second. Just one cell phone can pollute 40,000 gallons of water with toxins like arsenic, mercury, and lead. Cell phones also contain extremely valuable recyclable materials like gold, plastic, and copper. Unfortunately, even when we recycle our old cell phones, after we remove the valuable materials, there is still some waste (e-Cycle).



There is a better solution: reusing our old cell phones, but that kind of makes the whole getting a new phone thing hard if we want to keep using the older model cell phones. So how do we reuse while getting the new phones that we all want? Most cell phone companies today want to buy back our old cell phones. They then refurbish the phones to sell them again, for people who want last years model, or they use them for parts to fix peoples broken phones. You can then buy them from the retailers website.


Going through wireless providers is not the only way to get cash for your used cell phone. There are companies like Gazelle <link: > and EcoATM > that are willing to pay you for your old cell phone. They then turn around and sell them at a mark up. If you want to take the time to get the money for yourself you can sell your phone on EBay or Craigslist. Your phone doesn’t even need to be in great condition to get money for your phone. There are tons of people out there who like to buy broken phones to try and fix them themselves.

Another solution is to donate your old cell phone to a good cause. There are a number of non-profit organizations that take cell phones and give them to people in need. This is the best solution because the phones are being given new life and won’t end up with any waste in our water or landfills. Cell Phones for Soldiers <link:> is a non-profit that sends cell phones to active duty military members and veterans, and 911CellPhoneBank> provides cell phones to victims of abuse and senior citizens.


There are so many solutions for us to safely get rid of our phones and make sure they don’t end up in our landfills. Whether you decide to give your phone to a charity or if you trade it for cash, deciding to have your phone reused is the best for our environment.