Don't Throw It All Away: Your Cell Phone Could Go On Forever

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Despite new recycling programs, mobile phones can’t always count on life after death. Most people are too busy to search for those opportunities. That’s a shame for those in the metals industry, since copper, platinum and silver are just a few of the metals that are discarded when cell phones move to the local landfill. On top of that, trashing one cell phone can pollute 40,000 gallons of ground water. We covered the technical basics of cell phone recycling in an earlier article on green innovations in the metals industry, but some readers are still wondering where to take their outdated phones. So take note, because here are a few options for you:

  • If your phone is a Nokia and you’re ready for a change, register on their site for a pre-paid envelope. Once you receive the postage, kiss your cell goodbye and pop it in the mail. Nokia has promised proper disposal for phones past their prime. It’s really that simple — and free. Plus, you might not have known that about 40-60 percent of the metal components in Nokia phones contain recycled material.
  • No Nokia? No problem. Apple has agreed to recycle any brand as part of their “Greener Apple” promotions. They offer free recycling both online and inside their stores for CPUs, iPods, and cell phones. Apple will even cover the cost of shipping.
  • Get paid to recycle your cell phone at GreenPhone. You can make as much as $35.
  • There are always various charities interested in taking old cell phones off your hands (not to mention running shoes and books). You could try ReCellular, Cell Phones for Soldiers, Phones 4 Charity, or WADT Inc., which empowers women and victims of domestic violence. Saving the environment alone is worth the time, but making a difference in someone’s life? That makes the process even more worthwhile.

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–Amy Edwards

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