Certain components of cell phones are highly recyclable, while others need to be properly disposed of due to their hazardous nature. While cell phones are not generally collected curbside, it’s still fairly easy to recycle them by utilizing take-back or mail-in programs.
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Frequent Cell Phone Recycling Questions
How much money can I get for my old cell phone?
The amount of money you can get for your old cell phone varies greatly based on your phone model and the recycling method chosen. Many cellular service providers offer buy back programs that credit your account when you trade your phone in. There are also other companies such as Gazelle that will buy your smartphone from you. The newer your phone the more money you'll receive when you sell it to them.
What happens after I turn my cell phone in?
There’s an extensive market for recycled cell phones and cell phone parts. Once collected, the data is erased and a cell phone’s condition is evaluated. In many cases, used phones can be refurbished and resold as a certified, pre-owned devices. Phones that can’t be refurbished are used for parts in the refurbishing process, or are processed for scrap materials that can be reclaimed. All of these second-life options keep phones out of landfills.
Do I need to prepare my cell phone in any way before recycling it?
Best practices include backing up any personal information you want to keep, such as contacts and photos, and subsequently erasing any private information from your phone. For help with prepping your device prior to recycling, check with your carrier or phone manufacturer.