Remember Remember… to Recycle Your Phone Properly


If you’re attending or hosting a fireworks party this year, then chances are you’ve been rummaging through your cupboards in search of old possessions to throw on the bonfire. If that’s true, then it’s also quite likely that you might have come across an old phone or two in the process.

Now we’re not suggesting that you toss it along with Guy Fawkes onto the naked flames. In fact we would strongly advise against it! Smartphones are home to a number of substances which can be extremely hazardous if not disposed of correctly. Up to 80% of a phone is recyclable, and there are various ways you can put your old phone to good use, and even make some money from it.

  • Exchange it online- There are a growing number of companies online who will offer you money for your old phone. Generally speaking, it needs to have its original battery and be able to be turned on, although minor cosmetic damage is usually fine. Money Saving Expert has a Mobile Valuer tool, which allows you to compare these sites and find out who is likely to pay the most for your old phone. If you do choose to sell your phone to one of these companies, make sure you send it switched off and without the SIM or memory card. It’s also a good idea to make sure it’s fully charged and to remove any security codes that may prohibit any testing.


  • Sell it on the high street- if your phone is in relatively good condition and you’re simply upgrading it for the newest model, places like Cash Converters and CeX buy electronic items. If you still have the original packaging and instructions, you’re likely to get offered more for it too.


  • Pass it on to friends or family- before you assume that your old phone is no good, check with family and friends first. One of them may be interested, especially if their phone has just broken and they weren’t savvy enough to get it insured! Alternatively, sell it locally at a car boot sale, or advertise them in the local paper or on local noticeboards.


  • Donate it to charity- lots of charities take phones for recycling, putting the money that they make from reselling or recycling them, towards their projects. WaterAid are currently running a campaign for old mobile phones and you can even arrange a collection at your workplace or school. Alternatively, a number of schools collect old phones to raise funds as well.


  • Actually recycle it. If you find that no one wants your old device, and you choose not to sell it or donate it to charity, then you can dispose of it safely at most household waste and recycling centres. They will usually have a “small electricals” compartment.


Regardless of what you decide to do with your old mobile, it is really important to make sure you have removed all your personal data first. As well as private messages and photos, there will also be contact details and other sensitive information that you wouldn’t want to find its way into the wrong hands.