How to recycle cell phones
Recycling cell phones is easy.
Each day brings an announcement of the advent of a "startling new and improved" cell phone. Even if you're not quite a techno buff, that appealing and colorful blurb is all it usually takes to plant the seed of discontent. Your current cell can't do all that, the screen is too small, the buttons are not readable – the list goes on. You give in and then are faced with the question of what to do with your old phone. Hopefully, this article will enlighten you with some advice on how to recycle cell phones.
The ever-growing cell phone models and accessories have spawned new businesses devoted to utilizing used cell phones to help the environment, generate much need cash for non-profit organizations and aid in community projects. Obviously, by recycling your old cell phone you will be helping the environment by reducing refuse landfills with toxic materials.
Before Turning in Your Old Cell Phone
There are certain important things you should do before turning in your old cell phone to avoid your stored information from being used unscrupulously.
1. Clear your phone of all stored information including incoming/outgoing phone numbers.your phone book and text messages. Also check your phone's owner's manual to see if your cell features a manual reset in the settings menu that erases data and restores the phone's default settings.
2. Remove the SIM card (if your phone has one). Phones that operate on GSM networks use SIM Cards. If you are not sure if your phone uses a SIM card or if you need assistance removing it, contact your wireless provider.
3. Terminate your service. Some recycled phones are resold. you want to make sure you won't be getting the bill when the new owner starts using your old phone!
Cell Phone Recycling Programs
Not only do all the major cell phone providers have some type of recycling program, there are numerous charitable organizations – on the national and local level – that also offer such programs. You can recycle your phone, and in many cases its outdated accessories, at drop-off locations, mail back programs, through an internet auction site or by donating it to a charity. Check with your cell phone provider to get details of its particular program. They also may have programs that donate to specific charities and causes.
Many community libraries also offer cell phone recycling programs in which they cell the used phones to companies and use the revenue generated to enhance the library's offerings. Shelters for abused women and children can use donated cell phones to provide at risk women with free phones programmed to reach 911. Some police departments also offer ways to utilize an otherwise useless (at least to you) phone.
Of course, there are many national organizations such as the American Cancer Society that also benefit from donations of used cell phones. Call your local chapter to get details. Whichever method you choose, be sure to get a receipt that you can use if you itemize your tax deductions.
The Internet is a wonderful source of information regarding how to recycle cell phones as well as a multitude of electronic devices. As with so many things we use in our daily lives, cell phones can extend their usefulness well beyond their primary intent.