How to Recycle Old Cell Phones and Why Your Small Business Should


Cell Phone Recycling: How to Do so and Why Your Small Business Should

Mobile technology is constantly evolving. And as a result, consumers and businesses are constantly upgrading to new cell phone models.

So what should you do with all those old cell phones once you make a change? You don’t have to simply throw them away. There are actually several benefits for businesses that recycle old cell phones. Here are some of them, along with some tips for how to recycle all of your old cell phones.

Business Benefits Of Cell Phone Recycling

Deals on New Purchases

Cell phone manufacturers like Apple will often take back old cell phones and recycle them for you. If your old phones are in good enough shape and new enough, the manufacturer may even offer you money back or a discount on purchases of new phones in exchange for the old ones.

Especially for businesses that have multiple phones to turn in and new ones to buy, this can be an especially attractive offer. But even if you don’t get money back, you may be able to take your old phones back to the manufacturer just as an easy way of recycling them.

Access to Refurbished Devices

When people and businesses bring old phones back to the manufacturer, it gives those companies back some of the raw materials that they can then use to make new phones. This not only means that they can save energy and materials, but it can also lead to more cost savings for consumers as a whole if the companies don’t have to start from scratch with every new model.

Some companies even take old cell phones and refurbish them, selling them for discounted prices. So if your business is ever looking for affordable mobile phones, having those refurbished devices can be a great asset.

Charitable Donations

Instead of getting money back for your devices, you could opt to donate your old devices to charitable organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers or HopeLine.

This method may not have as large of a financial impact for your business, but it can be beneficial for things like your public image and employee morale. And in some cases, you cell phone donations may even be tax deductible.

Environmental Benefits

Of course, cell phone recycling has several benefits for the environment as well. Cell phones, like other electronics, contain materials that can be harmful to the local environment and ecosystems. So keeping them out of landfills can be a big benefit to your community.

In addition, making cell phones out of brand new materials, rather than recycled ones, means that companies need more raw materials and more energy. So recycling can help conserve those materials and cut down on energy use.

Cell Phone Recycling

If you want to recycle cell phones, there are a few different ways you can do so. First, you can check with the manufacturer to see if they have a recycling program, especially if it offers you money off new purchases. Or you could also check with local schools or community organizations to see if they accept cell phones as charitable donations.

Additionally, you can check with your city’s recycling center to see if they accept cell phones. You may have to pay a small fee or prepare the phone in some way, like placing it in a specific type of packaging. And of course, you’ll want to make sure you delete any personal information from your device before recycling it in any of the aforementioned ways.

Old Cell Phones Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

7 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I think that recycling can help you save money in the long run. It also helps your employees to be more conscious on how they use electronic devices.

  2. A proper recycling system is essential for this type of device. It must be dealt with properly especially in your office.

  3. Recycling should not just be for money’s sake but for the environment as well. Though useful, these electronics can be toxic to the environment.

  4. Repurposing is also an option. For example, did you know that you can use your old cellphones for quite good security cameras?

    Or you can set them to turn on the flashlight for you to illuminate your porch if they are wifi enabled.

    But a truly great idea, would be to simply give them to the lower level employees who cannot afford to buy a cell phone or give it to the family of an employee. Terrific for building morale.

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