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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Old Cell Phones For Cash and Charity

Updated on September 1, 2014

Donate Or Sell Used Mobile Phones For Cash

One in three Americans will upgrade their old cell phone this year. That's millions of phones being replaced each and every year.

But where do they go?

Millions of upgraded mobie telephones are thrown into the garbage, sending thousands of tonnes of toxic waste to our landfill sites.

Millions more just end up getting dumped into a drawer which continues to accumulate phones we think we might use again one day...which never comes.

But isn't there a better way? Well yes there is.

In fact, those old mobile phones are worth money to you, your favorite charity or to reclaimation companies who will recycle the toxic components whilst reclaiming the valuable materials.

So don't throw away old phones, recycle them instead and make money too!

What Do You Do With Your Old Cell Phones?

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Sell Your Cell Phone For Cash

Trade In Your Old Wireless Phone and Get Paid

You could get paid to recycle old mobile phones. There are many cell phone recycling websites who are looking for second hand phones like the ones you have sitting in that bottom drawer right now and will pay cash for them.

Most of these companies will refurbish those phones and resell them in developing countries who will welcome your old technology.

It's a win win situation for all involved.

The following selection of cell phone recyclers will pay cash for cell phones from American households.

Find Out How Much Your Used Mobile Phone Is Worth will pay you cash for your working used mobiles phones and a whole bunch of other used electronic and media products. Simply visit the site, find the make and model number of the phone you want to sell and they will give you an instant quote. If you decide you want to sell your phone to this company they will also pay the shipping costs. Gazelle offers anything from a couple of bucks to over $100 for each second hand cell phone you sell to them.

Cell Phone Trade Ins

Trade In Your Used Cell Phone For Cash

Send in your used phones and earn money for you or your charity here at

Not only can you trade in used cell phones here, but you can also sell your old apple ipods to them as well.

Search the site for your manufacturer and model number to find out how much your working cell phone is worth. Then, send then your phone by prepaid USPS mail and once tested, you'll be paid the amount stated.

Cellphonetradeins will may also pay you for broken wireless phones and ipods if they still have some value to them. If not, then be sure they will recycle them safely and as anice touch, will plant a tree for each broken phone received through their reLeaf project.

UK Mobile Phone Recycling Sites

Sell Your Phone Online To These British Cell Phone Recyling Companies

Depending upon which study you want to believe, there are an estimated four mobile phone handsets sitting around doing nothing in every UK household. A further 20 million phones get upgraded every year and only around 10% of those phones get recycled every year. The UK however, has a lot of options out there for recycling those pre-owned phones and earning money in the process.

The following UK wireless telephone recycling sites are a great place to start comparing prices to find the best deal for your used mobile phone handset.


Envirophone will pay you up to £180 for your used mobile phone. They will also even buy your damaged and broken mobile phone handsets!

Envirophone makes it easy to sell mobiles to them. Simply check out the site, find your make and model cell phone and you will be given details on what they will pay for that particular handset.

Then, review the offer price and if you are willing to accept it, then you will be sent a padded envelope in the mail.

Pop your handset(s) inside and send it back freepost and you'll get a cheque in the mail once they have tested it. How easy is that!

In the majority of cases, Envirophone will recycle your old wireless phone by reusing it - refurbishing it and selling it to someone else who can make use of an older model handset, or send it for reprocessing.

The latter process removes reusable parts and precious materials from the handset reducing the demand for the manufacture and use of these materials. The rest are smelted for energy recovery.


Fonebank recycles around 70,000 used mobile phones from all across Europe every month. By doing so they prevent pollution and environmental damage from discarded phones whilst at the same time offering renumeration to those who send in their mobiles.

Fonebank offers payment for the used phones listed on their website. Check out the make and model number and if it is listed, then you can earn money for it.

If you phone is not listed then they will still recycle the phone for free, safely disposing of the toxic elements therein, but you will not make any money from it. They do claim however, to make a small donation to charity for each unusable mobile phone you send them. (you can also check if another site might want it or donate directly to a charity of course). Check if Fonebank is offering cash for your used phone.

Mobile Phone Exchange

Mobile Phone Exchange will pay up to £200 for your unwanted mobile telephones. You wil lbe paid in full for phones in good working order and can even earn money for your broken mobiles, of course, at a lesser rate.

Recycle Broken Mobile Phones For Cash

Yes, you can sell your damaged cell phone and make money

Even if your cell phone is no longer in good working order, you still may be able to sell it back to a recycling center and earn cash for doing so.

Some mobile phone recycling companies are not looking to refurbish and resell wireless phones but instead, are looking to recycle and reclaim the internal components. You can still get something back from recycling a broken phone from these companies whilst keeping that unit out of a landfill at the same time.

The following cell phone recyclers will take your trashed cell phone.

Gazelle - USA Only

Envirophone - UK Only.

Donate your Used Cell Phone To Charity

Just as you can make money by turning in your old phones for cash payment, so can you do a good deed today instead and donate used cell phones to charity.

There are a lot of charitable mobile phone donation sites out there who will be more than happy to take used cellular telephones and turn them into cash for worthy causes.

Of course, you can always sell the phone yourself and donate the proceeds, but there are also a lot of charity sites out there looking specifically for mobiles of all types to help their fundraising activities.

The following charity websites will be glad to take your donated mobile phone and hey, there's probably a tax deduction in it for you as well.

Cell Phones For Soldiers

Cell Phones For Soldiers was created in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist (then aged just 12 and 13 respectively) from Massachusetts with just $21 of their own money.

Today, this charity has raised over $2 million in donations and the money received from recycled cellular phones and has donated over 500,000 minutes of pre-paid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas so they can keep in contact with their families back home.

Cell Phones For Soldiers supports all branches of the U.S. military and needs your used preowned cellular phones so they can continue their great work. You can mail your old phones to them by checking out the details on the site.

You may also find a local drop off point in your area which can also be searched for through the site itself - there are over 40,000 of them across the United States, so there's a good chance there's one in your area.

Canadian? Check out Cell Phones For Soldiers Canada where all proceeds go to support Canadian troops.

Interview With The Teen Founders Of The Cell Phones For Soldiers Charity

UK Mobile Phone Donations

Give Used Mobile Phones To Charity

There are a lot of charities in the UK who would be more than happy to take your old mobile telephone off your hands and put it to good use. As always, Google is your best friend here if you are looking for a particular charity, or you can check out a few of those I list below:

Guide Dogs - give up your old dog and bone and Guide Dogs will get £3.50 for every handset you send them. That's enough to feed one of their dogs for 5 days and help them continue to provide mobility for visually impaired people. Check out the site for a FREEPOST envelope.

Oxfam and Fonebak have teamed up to allow you to donate the proceeds for the sale of your mobile phone to their charity.

How Are Mobile Telephones Recycled?

Why Recyling Cell Phones Is Important

The Social and Environmental Benefits Of Cell Phone Reuse and Recyling

Every year, millions of wireless phones are needlessly thrown away.

Many of these are in perfectly good working order, many more could be fixed, refurbished and resold, whilst the rest can be reprocessed, the valuable components removed and the rest disposed of in a way which has minimal environmental impact.

But why should it matter to you what happens to an old mobile phone? Well, here are a few things to think about:

* The cadmium in just three mobil phone batteries is enough to pollute an olympic sized swimming pool.

* The plastic in a typical mobile phone can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade.

* A mobile phone uses some of the most toxic materials known to man in its manufacture including Cadmium, Beryllium, Lead, Arsenic, Mercury and Palladium. Nasty stuff to be dumping into the environment in such huge quantities.

* Developing countries who do not have easy access to the technology we have can use those old mobile phones, giving them access to telecommunications as a low price.

* In some States it is illegal to dump a cell phone into the garbage. It is consider an environmental hazard and must be recycled.

* An estimated 5 billion cell phones have been produced to date which are no longer in use worldwide...

*...on average the UK recycles just 10% of its share of those mobiles, the US figure is somewhere below 20%.

* An estimated 130 million phones are upgraded each year in the US alone.

* A typical mobile phone user only keeps their mobile for 18 months so the mountain of used and preowned mobile phones keeps growing at an astounding rate.


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