The 7 Benefits of Properly Recycling Your Old Phones

Some people don’t know what to do with their old phones when they get a new replacement device. If it’s in good working condition and it’s only a few years old, you might be able to resell it to another co\nsumer (or back to the store where you bought it). If it’s even more recent, you can pass it down to a sibling or family member.

But what if the phone is no longer working? Or what if it’s so old that people aren’t interested in buying it from you?

You might be tempted to throw your phone away at that point, but this is a terrible idea. It’s important to recycle your phone, rather than just dumping it in the trash – and there are several benefits to doing it properly.

The Benefits of Recycling Your Old Phone

When you recycle your old phone, you’ll benefit from several advantages:

  1.       Complete peace of mind. Have you ever felt a bit paranoid after reselling your phone? Have you ever wondered whether someone with the right motivation could break into your phone, look at your photos, or even steal your email account password? Even factory resets don’t completely wipe your phone of all data, so it’s a legitimate concern – and if you simply throw your phone away without wiping it, you could face a serious security risk. By contrast, when properly recycling a phone, it typically gets completely shredding, breaking it down to its raw material components – meaning retrieving your old data is pretty much impossible.
  2.       Legal compliance. Depending on where you live, it may be a legal requirement to recycle your old devices. If you’re caught throwing an old phone in the garbage, or in a dumpster, you could be fined – or even thrown in jail. Recycling your phones responsibly will ensure you remain in full legal compliance.
  3.       Certain acceptance. Phone recycling specialists aren’t discriminating when it comes to device acceptance. If you try to sell your device online, or to a store as part of a trade-in deal, they may only want it if it’s in full working order, or if it’s a specific model from the past few years. But with a recycler, you can practically guarantee they’re going to want your device – because they want the raw materials inside it.
  4.       Immediate cash. Most of the time, you can make a bit of money by selling your old devices back to a recycler. You probably won’t make enough to buy the latest model of phone, but you can earn a significant amount – something to make it worth your while.
  5.       Reduction of landfill space. If you throw your phone away, it’s going to end up in a landfill. Landfills aren’t necessarily bad, but the amount of waste we produce as a species is enormous – and there’s only so much room on the planet. Every act of recycling reduces the landfill space we need and points us toward greater sustainability.
  6.       Reduction of pollution. Even more importantly, if you just throw your phone away, it could become a major source of pollution. Over time, the phone will break down, and heavy metals could leach into the soil – or even your drinking water. Recycling your phone will prevent that pollution from ever occurring.
  7.       New life for old materials. Phones are full of rare elements, including platinum and palladium. Recovering and reusing these materials means we can protect the finite supply we have left – and reduce demand for environmentally unfriendly mining processes.

Additional Ways You Can Help the Environment

If you love the idea of protecting the environment with your electronics-related decisions, there are several more steps you can take.

For example:

  •         Recycle all your old devices. It’s not just about phones. Every electronic device, including tablets, computers, and TVs, can be recycled in a similar way – and the benefits are nearly identical. If you’re getting rid of any old devices, make sure you recycle them rather than throwing them away.
  •         Buy used. You can reduce demand and reduce the production of new devices by buying used or refurbished instead of new. Oftentimes, you’ll get a device that’s like new (and backed by a warranty) for a much lower cost.
  •         Choose the right manufacturers. Some manufacturers have more environmentally friendly practices than others. Do your research before making your purchasing decisions, and favor devices made by responsible companies.

Recycling your old phones and electronic devices is easy and you can make money doing it – so there’s no excuse not to partake. You’ll be making a bit of money, protecting the environment, and contributing to the raw material supply for the next generation of electronics all at the same time.

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