The EPA has reminders at its website about erasing personal information and terminating cellular service before recycling your phone. It points out that numerous businesses now offer free drop-offs for your old phones, and others allow you to mail them in. Recycling drives have also become a great way for some charities to raise money.
If you are not only environmentally conscious, but frugal, you might want to try another way of putting older phones to good use. Someone in your own community may want to buy or swap for your used phone if it’s in good condition. I did a quick search on a trading site, and there were dozens of people wanting to sell their phones in my area.
You may want to trade your old phones in for coupons, like I recently did. I used the Recyclebank program, which my community uses to encourage household curbside recycling. I’m already signed up to receive coupons based on how many pounds of household materials I recycle each week. Now I’m earning more points toward coupons by mailing Reyclebank my old cell phones. I liked that the company wanted not only my phone, but any accessories that came with it. I think all of those useless cords that don’t work with anything else are the biggest waste of storage space. It took me a while to fill out the online forms and delete personal information, then I wrapped up the phones and packaged everything in an old shoebox with a postage-paid mailing label that Recyclebank provided.