Where to Recycle Old Mobile Phones

By Devon Glenn 

Sending a text on a smartphone might save a tree, but what happens to your old phone when it’s time for an upgrade? Before you send your hardware off to a landfill, here are a few places you can trade it in – and maybe get a little cash.

  • Verizon’s Call2Recycle program accepts both old phones and rechargeable batteries. Just drop them off at a Verizon Wireless store. Through the HopeLine program, the company can also donate your old phone to help survivors of domestic violence.
  • AT&T has a trade-in program for phones, accessories, and batteries. You can apply the current value of your old phone toward a new one.
  • Best Buy will take electronics purchased at any store. If your old device has any value, you can trade it in for a gift card. Otherwise, you can safely drop it off to be recycled.
  • Online auction site eBay has an Instant Sale program. Just type in the name and the condition of the device you’re looking to sell and the company will make you an offer. If it’s more than you could get through an auction, you can print out a free shipping label and send the phone in the mail. eBay will deposit the money into your PayPal account.
  • The Apple store will also give you a gift card when you mail in your old device. They can also recycle your batteries and non-Apple devices for free.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an extensive list of where to donate your old phones.

Try a few sites to see which one offers the best price or has the most convenient drop-off location. Although the trade-in value of your old phone will likely be significantly less than the purchase price, trading it in is better than throwing it away.

Updated 9/12/2012. Thanks to our readers for the tips!

Image by Roberto Robuffo via Shutterstock.