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A Guide to Recycling Old Phones

When you think of recycling, you probably think of blue bins overflowing with plastic, glass and paper. But did you know that you can recycle old phones, too? The average American gets a new phone every 18 months and the result of that is about 100-110 million phones discarded each year. That’s A LOT of waste. Let Trademore break down the rest of the why’s and how’s to recycle your phone.


Why recycle your phone?

  1. Recycling old phones is better for our environment.
  2. This won’t come as a surprise, but phones are not biodegradable. Phones can also contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury, which can leach toxins into our air, water supply, plants and animals once they get to the landfills.


  3. Phones contain a variety of materials that can be re-used.
  4. Cell phones contain plastics, copper and metals that can be put back into circulation. In fact, for every one million phones recycled, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, and 33,274 pounds of copper can be recovered. These materials are then used for new electronic devices, plastic packaging, jewelry making and more.


    If your phone is still in working condition then recycle your phone in a different way—by donating it. Many charities will take your old phone, refurbish it and give it to someone who cannot afford a phone. If it can’t be refurbished, some charities will even recycle phones for cash and use those proceeds towards their efforts.


How can I make an impact?

If we’ve convinced you to recycle your phone, there are a few ways you can reduce your e-waste footprint and they all start with Trademore. Selling your device is a great first step and you’re not only going to save yourself money, but you’re also extending the life of a phone. Similarly, you can buy a certified used device. Finally, if you’re interested in donating your phone, check out our recycle program.

Here at Trademore, we believe that when it comes to protecting our world or helping those in need, every little bit helps. Our goal is to extend the life-cycle of technology, while reducing the impact on our environment and passing those values onto our customers. Check out more tips, tricks, and how-to guides on our blog.


Trademore has no connections, affiliations, partnerships or sponsorship agreements with the companies, entities, services and/or products mentioned in this blog post. The opinions, thoughts, views and expressions made within this blog post are independently created by and attributable to Trademore authors and/or contributors.