Never Throw in the Trash
Cell phones contain toxic metals that can harm the environment, as well as precious metals, silicone, glass and plastic that can be reused. Phones are a major source of e-waste, so don’t throw them in the trash.
Alternative Ways to Recycle
Best Buy's Electronics and Appliances Recycling Program
Best Buy will take back cell phones and many other home electronics for free; they also offer a buyback program for more desired electronics. They accept up to three items per day from each household. Find a location here.
Staples' Take Back Program
Staples offers free, in-store recycling for unwanted electronics, including cell phones, desktop computers, tablets, monitors and other electronics. Locate your nearest Staples.
Gazelle Trade-In Program
Gazelle purchases used Apple computers, iPods, cell phones and tablets, then refurbishes or recycles them for future use. Get a quote for your item, ship it free of charge and receive payment as soon as they’ve inspected it. Find out more.
HP Hardware Recycling
HP accepts cell phone and electronics hardware from various manufacturers for free mail-in recycling. Request a mail-back label here.
Apple Store Gift Card
Apple runs a reuse and recycling program for unwanted iPhones, iPads, Mac or PC computers and displays. Depending on the condition of your electronics, Apple can give you credit if they have monetary value. Find out more.
LG Recycling Program
Ship your LG phone to be recycled with a free, prepaid shipping label. Find out more.
Samsung Mobile Take-Back Program
Send any model of Samsung mobile device, along with any accessories, to be recycled at no cost. Simply print out a pre-paid shipping label. Find out more.
Microsoft Trade-In and Recycling Program
Trade in old devices, game consoles or games for Microsoft store credit or cash.
Donate for Global Public Health
Hope Phones takes any phone, working or not, and provides free shipping. The funds they receive from recycling or selling phones go towards purchasing technology for global public health workers with the non-profit Medic Mobile. Find out more.
Donate for Domestic Violence Survivors
Ship any working phone or phone accessory free of charge to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which gives them to survivors of domestic violence. Recipients of refurbished phones also get free calls and texting. Find out more.
Donate to a Soldier
Cell Phones for Soldiers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. They have both donation and buyback programs. Find out more.
InterConnection Charitable Reuse & Recycling
Donate smartphones and laptops less than 7 years old to InterConnection’s Charitable Computer Reuse and Recycling program. Smartphones cannot have a broken screen, and laptops must be able to turn on. Hard drives will be wiped as soon as items are received. Download a free shipping label here.
Ways to Reuse
Repurpose your Smartphone
There are a lot of applications to give your phone a new life. An old smartphone can be used as a flash drive, a mobile mouse/trackpad or a baby monitor. Find lots of other creative uses at makeuseof.com.