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Recycle, Donate and Sell Used Cell Phones and Preowned Mobile Telephones

Updated on February 17, 2012

According to some estimates, there are an average of 130 million cell phones upgraded by American wireless users each and every year.

The average life of a cell phone amongst Americans is just 18 months which means there are millions and millions of old cellular telephones, many of which are in good working order, being needlessly thrown away or stored in a bottom drawer for eternity.

Again, one study estimates there are around 500 million used handsets, chargers and accessories in American homes right now and with those 100+ million being upgraded each year this number can only increase.

That's a lot of wasted technology and also, a lot of wasted money because a wireless phone, even a very old one, is not worthless, but is in fact worth money to you or for a charity of your choice and are desperately needed by people in developing countries who do not have access to expensive up to date technology, women's shelters and more.

In addition, the environmental hazards posed by old electronics is not insignificant, especially at the rate at which they are being thrown away.

Despite it being illegal in some states to discard them into the garbage, there are still less than 20% being recycled at this present moment in time. When you consider they contain some pretty toxic materials including cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and beryllium, which can leach from landfill sites into the ecosystem, as well as recoverable valuable elements like gold and palladium, that's a lot of needless waste of valuable finite materials.

The vast number of discarded mobile handsets poses a huge potential problem for future generations but it need not be that way. There are numerous ways in which you can put them to use without resorting to dumping them into a landfill site. Better still, many of those efforts will also make you a little extra money, sometimes hundreds of dollars, which has to be better than cluttering up a sock drawer or dump site!

Trade In Old Cell Phones For Cash

The first option you might like to consider, is to turn in preowned cell phones at one of the many recycling sites which will pay you cash for your old handset.

In many ways this is a total win-win situation for all involved. Whether it be for yourself, who will get paid cash for your pre-owned wireless cell phone, or for the site itself, which will refurbish and resell it at a profit for itself, or to the end-user, who is often in a foreign country who doesn't have access to or can not afford newer technology, or finally, to the environment as this keeps a potentially toxic electronic device from being thrown away whilst at the same time, lowering the number of new ones needing to be manufactured using those toxic and finite materials.

The following sites will buy old cell phones for cash...some even buy non-working broken smartphones for reprocessing where they may fix them to be reused or take them apart for the reusable materials inside.

Nextworth - Sell Old Phones For Money

Send your preowned mobile phones to Nextworth and be paid in cash for each qualifying handset. Depending on how much value there is left in your old smartphone, you will be paid anywhere from a few bucks to over $100 for each one you send them. Nextworth will take all kinds of other unused, old electronics off your hands for a price, allowing you to recycle cameras, video game systems, laptop computers, GPS systems, ipods, ipads and more.

Cell Phones For Soldiers - Donate Here

Help military families keep in touch when their family members are serving overseas by donating your retired preowned wireless telephones to Cell Phones For Soldiers!

Each donation sent by mail, or dropped off at a local drop-off point (check the site to find one in your area), will be sold to a reprocessing site who pays them for each unit they receive. CPFS doesn't directly send them directly to soldiers as most would not work overseas anyway, but instead, uses the money generated through these donations to buy calling cards and talk time for those soldiers serving around the world. To date they have managed to buy 500,000 minutes of talk time for members of the U.S. military. does not have any restrictions on the types of donations they will accept unlike some other sites which may indicate your device is obsolete and not wanted so if you've found you can not sell an older model to wireless phone refurbishing company, then consider making a donation to a charity site like this one instead.


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