There’s a good chance that lurking in your house right now is at least one old phone or other portable electronic that you no longer use. Kick off the New Year by recycling these old gadgets and, in turn, helping the environment, people in need, and even your bank account. SIMPLR has rounded up four reasons to recycle and four ways to do it.
Why to Recycle
- You can clear out tons of clutter.
Think of all the outdated flip phones and cracked-screen devices you’ve shoved in your junk drawer or the back of your closet. That’s a big heap of unused metal and plastic, right? Round ’em up and get rid of them at once—it’ll free up space in your house for new toys, yes, but also space in your conscience so you can guiltlessly upgrade to the latest iPhone or Android model.
- You can make money.
Well, you probably won’t be raking in a lot of money, but even a few bucks is better than none. CNET recently charted the sample trade-in values for four phones of various carriers, brands, and conditions—and emphasized that the more research you do in your quest to trade in, the more money you will likely walk away with. (See below for more tips.)
- You can help the environment.
Many electronics contain toxins like mercury and lead, so tossing your broken device into the trashcan is like dumping chemicals into the ground. Many electronics also contain commonly recycled materials like plastic and metal—making it as easy to recycle them as it is to recycle empty soda cans.
- You can help people in need.
If your phone or laptop is still functioning, it can be used by low-income families, students at area schools, and various kinds of nonprofits. Consider donating directly to a local organization—check out donatetechnology.com to search for one in need near you.
How to Recycle
This company’s standalone kiosks, found across the country, let you instantly trade in old cell phones and tablets for cold hard cash.
- Major retailers
Head to your nearest Best Buy, RadioShack, or GameStop location and find out how much they’ll give your for your device—even if you didn’t purchase it there. If it’s ultimately of zero value, they will recycle it for you, free of charge.
- Major websites
Amazon, eBay, and Gazelle are three popular sites where you can buy and sell used electronics. They’re all more reputable and safer than sites like Craigslist.
- Your device’s carrier or manufacturer
Companies like Verizon, Apple, and Sprint have great reuse/recycling programs that include gift cards or credit that you can use to upgrade to a newer model. Other companies, including Samsung, will safely dispose of your unusable phones and other electronics, often using them as resources for manufacturing.
After you get your shiny new device to replace what you’ve recycled, make sure you protect it from the unknowns. SIMPLR has your smartphone, tablet, and more covered—learn all about it right here.