How to Recycle Your Old Phone

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Owning a smartphone is a constant cycle. You use one for a few years, upgrade it, then rinse and repeat. 

But what should you do with your old phone? Throwing it away could be an option, but it’s bad for the environment . That's why, instead, we recommend recycling old phones. There are many ways you can recycle your phone and lessen its environmental impact. Read on to learn how to recycle your old phone, plus more on why it's worth doing. 


Why You Should Recycle Old Phones

As we mentioned, throwing away phones can be bad for the environment. Cell phones contain toxic metals that can contaminate soil and water if they're not disposed of properly. For that reason alone, recycling your old phone can be a good idea. 

You can also earn money from recycling your phone, which can be a nice perk. Some phone vendors will give you a credit toward a new phone when you trade in an old one, while others even offer cash. Both are great options if you’re focused on your budget . Donating your phone is also an option, especially if you’d like to see your phone reused instead of simply recycled. 

Where to Recycle Old Phones for Money

Whether you’re looking for cash or credit toward a new phone, there are plenty of places where you can recycle your old phone for money. 

Carriers and Retailers

If you want to trade in your phone and get a discount on a new one, your carrier or an electronics retailer will be the place to go. Most carriers, including Optimum Mobile , offer trade-in programs. When you're ready for an upgrade, bring in your current device and swap it out for a newer model. We also offer in-store recycling for any of your old devices, even if you're not currently opting for an upgrade. Just bring in your old phones, and we'll send them to Pulse for responsible recycling.


SellCell claims to offer the most cash possible for your smartphone. It compares offers from over 40 different buyback companies, so you can figure out if you're getting the best deal. 


For simplicity's sake, Decluttr is a great option. You can get an instant quote online, and if you like the offer, they'll send you all of the necessary shipping materials for free. You can also sell other electronics on Decluttr, so it's ideal if you have an old laptop lying around as well.


Swappa is a market for used tech, cell phones included. Unlike SellCell and Decluttr, where you send your phone to the company, on Swappa you list and sell your phone yourself. This requires a bit more upfront work, but the upside is that you can cut out the middleman and get more money for your phone. 

Where to Recycle Old Phones for Donation

If you're not looking to buy a new phone, donating your old device to a recycling service is a great call. They're easy to use, and some will give you money in return.


Call2Recycle is perfect for recycling your phone quickly and easily. They partner with retailers across the United States, so there's likely to be a location near you. They accept old cell phones and recycle or refurbish them for future use. 


The venerable used clothing and furniture retailer is also a great place to donate your phone. Goodwill has an electronics recycling program that makes donating an old phone a breeze. 

Recycling old cell phones is incredibly easy to do; it's good for the environment, and you might walk away with some extra cash in your pocket. There are countless cell phone recycling websites and programs to choose from - you just need to find the one that's right for you! 

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