EHS Management

What to Do with Old Cell Phones

Got a new iPhone or Blackberry for Christmas and wondering what to do with your old model? Don’t stick it in a drawer, and definitely don’t throw it in the trash. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to recycle your old cell phone.

Cell phones and PDAs are made of precious metals, copper, and plastics—all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling not only conserves these materials, but prevents air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Where to Recycle Your Cell Phone

EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling program offers you two choices for recycling your old cell phone, PDA, cell phone batteries, chargers, or other accessories.

Drop it off at one of the following retailers or service providers AT&T, Best Buy, Office Depot, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, T-Mobile, LG Electronics, or Verizon Wireless.

Mail it in to one of the following retailers or service providers Nokia, Sprint, Samsung, T-Mobile, Motorola, LG Electronics, Verizon Wireless, or Sony Ericsson.

**See retailer’s websites for drop off and mailing locations.

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Prepare for Recycling

Don’t forget these 3 things before you recycle your old cell phone:

1. Terminate your service.
2. Clear the phone’s memory of stored information

  • Conduct a factory hard reset by following instructions from your wireless carrier or the product manual; or
  • Use data erasing tools (available on the Web)

3. Remove your SIM card.

Of course, you can also donate your working cell phone to charity to help those in need.

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