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Can Phones Be Recycled?

Can Phones Be Recycled?

Mobile phones are everywhere. And we use them for everything. What’s the time? Let me check on my smartphone? I need to get a ride? Smartphone. Checking something online? Yep, smartphone! Not to mention all the communication options and social media.

Naturally, with use this widespread, the pace at which we jump from phone to phone has increased. Every two years, people tend to buy new phones. Even if you sell your old model, it’s going to and up in the garbage at some point. But is there something better we can do with it? Can phones be recycled?

Can I Recycle My Old Phone?

With all the waste that we, as humans, produce, it’s no wonder that a growing number of people are becoming environmentally-conscious. Governments all over the world are also instigating recycling initiatives, by separating plastic, metal, paper, and various other waste.

But what about phones? Are they plastic? Metal? Well, there are numerous micro components inside every smartphone, so you can’t really expect people to take their phones apart and separate the remains. It’s simply not practical.

You may not be aware, but recycling centers for mobile phones actually do exist. In these centers, phones are either restored and resold or are taken apart so that the parts get a new life. Either way, it’s recycling and it definitely helps save money and the environment in the long-term.

can phone be recycled

So, yes, you can recycle your old phone. Just look for the nearest recycling facility.


We’re living in the age of various advanced technological marvels. In fact, we have been living in this age for quite a while now. It may not get a lot of coverage, but e-waste is a growing concern. It’s actually one of the most problematic and fastest-growing waste streams in the entire world. And how could it not be?

E-waste consists of televisions, computers, printers, mobile phones, any electronic devices, really. And yes, mobile phones are probably the biggest problem here.

The worst part is that e-waste isn’t handled correctly in most cases. Forget about the fact that many people choose to throw away their old phones without thinking. Many governments simply choose to ship their e-waste to other countries, causing further environmental and even health problems.

Types of Phone Recycling

Although not every country or area has a phone recycling facility nearby, there are still ways to recycle your old phones. Note that most of these methods simply won’t work with phones that aren’t working. A malfunctioning phone is best sent to an e-waste recycling facility.

Sell/Give Away

The easiest way to recycle phones is either to sell them to somebody or to give them away to friends and family. In that way, no waste is created and the recipients get the benefit of paying less or a reduced price. However, these people are also encouraged to eventually recycle these used phones.

The Apple’s Solution

Alternatively, Apple famously encourages users to return their old device in return for a more modern version at a discount. This is because the parts can be salvaged and used for building new models. This saves them money and helps the environment.


You shouldn’t throw things out without thinking. Instead of throwing away those dirty jeans, think about how many people could use them? Send them to a charity – it’s usually free of charge.

The same goes for old phones. There are many people who can’t afford a cellphone. You may find this unimaginable, but it’s a reality. Even if your phone isn’t working properly, a charity will most likely accept it.

Phone Pawnshops

Well, they aren’t really called that, but that’s essentially what they do. If your old phone happens to be working just fine and you’ve kept the original box with instructions, try finding a shop that specializes in buying tech devices. You may get your solid money’s worth in this way, and have a clear conscience. The shop will resell the phone to someone else, thereby guaranteeing its reusability.

Battery Recycling

If you’re only getting a new battery, it’s essential that you recycle it. In fact, even if you want to throw a phone away in the most typical fashion, you’re encouraged to take out the battery and recycle it in some way. This is because batteries are very toxic to the environment – the most toxic part of any phone.

Most batteries can be recycled and phone batteries are no exception here. This definitely goes for phone batteries.

What Not to Do

Although this might be clear for some, most people are simply unaware of how they’re contributing to less than favorable effects on the environment. Therefore, people need to get introduced to what they definitely shouldn’t do and help contribute to the betterment of our planet.

Don’t Throw It Away

Simply throwing the phone into the garbage in a way that will ultimately result in it ending up in a landfill isn’t the best practice. Of course, this goes for throwing the phone into a body of water or smashing it to bits and pieces.

Don’t Let It Sit in Your Drawer

Unfortunately, this is what most people tend to do. They buy a new model and toss a perfectly well-functioning old one into a drawer. The phone sits there, its battery inactive, and it deteriorates. After a while, it becomes beyond repair.

phones be recycled

Ultimately, you’ll just pile up your old phones and throw them away into the garbage. Yes, this is definitely contributing to global e-waste. So don’t do it.

Phones and Recycling

As you can see, not only can phones be recycled, but there are multiple ways to do it. This is the right way to go about things when it comes to disposing of your old mobile phones. Give them to charity, sell them at half the price. Even go to the pawnshop and see if you can sell it there. Oh, and recycle that battery. That’s vital.

Have you ever recycled your phone? How did you do it? Tell us more about it in the comments section below. And don’t refrain from asking questions. We’re all here to support each other.

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Jun 4, 2020

1862 Articles Published