Top Reasons to Recycle Your Outdated Cell Phone

Roughly 90 percent of cell phones are not recycled.

Some people just discard them into a cupboard and forget about them. While others dump them in the trash as they would anything else.

However, everyone should be recycling cell phones. Here are the top reasons why you should be recycling your cell phone.

After reading this, you’ll never throw away a cell phone ever again. Keep reading to find out more!

1. Save on Natural Resources

Up to 80 percent of the cell phone can be recycled.

That includes the metals and plastics which go into technology. These are subsequently melted down and used again.

It is possible to recycle the screen, lenses, battery, SIM card and microphones in a cell phone.

Since these natural resources are recycled to be reused, the demand for the use of natural resources falls overall.

These mysterious facts can make you wonder what else you don’t know.

2. The Value of Precious Metals

Did you know you could pay up to $15 million for a black, diamond-encrusted iPhone?

However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a phone covered in precious metals. Indeed, every smartphone on the market contains silver, gold, platinum, and copper within it.

There is a long history of such metals being highly valued across civilizations. But, as the cost of removing the metals from the ground is becoming increasingly unfeasible, the value of the metals in your cell phone could skyrocket.

Therefore, for every million cell phones recycled, up to 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 35,000 pounds of copper and 33 pounds of palladium is recovered.

3. Dangerous and Hazardous

Roughly 70 percent of toxic waste is from electronics, such as cell phones.

Even though a number of cell phone producers have taken steps to reduce the harmful effects of technology, no phone is 100% non-hazardous.

You’ve probably heard about the toxic effects of lead, mercury, and even cadmium but the average cell phone contains up to 40 toxic chemicals, many of which you’ve never heard before.

Moreover, many of these toxic chemicals and metals eventually find themselves in the water. Once they’re in the water system, they can persist for years.

The consequences of throwing your cell phone into the landfill can be huge for human health. The toxic chemicals can cause health problems, such as brain cancer and kidney damage.

4. Dubious Ethical Origins

Some of the valuable materials which are thrown away when you discard your cell phone in a landfill are related to awful violent conflicts.

In particular, the mining of the reserves of Coltan ore in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has caused a decades-long conflict. Up to 80 percent of the world’s Coltan ore is found in the Congo.

The violent conflict has resulted in the death of up to 5 million people, displacements of whole populations and the rape and abuse of over 300,000 women. That’s just in the past 15 years.

Moreover, the illegal mining activities have also destroyed the habitats of numerous animals, including the endangered mountain gorillas.

5. Demand for Affordable Second-Hand Phones

There has been a growth of up to 13 percent in the second-hand and refurbished phone market.

Sometimes, when we talk about recycling your cell phone, we mean passing it on to someone else who can benefit from it.

Many developing nations, such as Mexico, India, and Thailand have seen an increased demand for second-hand phones.

Your cell phone could also be used by someone within the United States. Charity organizations and other non-profits receive, refurbish and distribute your handsets to people in need.

6. Bring Down the Cost of Your New Phone

If everyone recycled their cell phone, the overall cost of producing new cell phones would be brought down. This may not actually happen since phone companies could pocket the extra cash saved in the production process.

However, theoretically, the savings could be passed onto the consumer. Since companies wouldn’t need to source the materials for your phone with expensive measures, such as mining.

7. You Could Get Paid to Recycle

The amount you can receive for recycling your old cell phone depends on the value of the handset.

For example, if you want to recycle your brand new iPhone X compared with an old Nokia 3310, you can expect a significant difference in price.

You can either receive the cash, trade in your cell phone for a newer model or just receive a credit to spend later.

If you’re feeling generous, you could even run a fundraiser for a charity in which you encourage people to give up their old cell phones to raise money for a local organization, such as a school or religious institution.

8. It’s Convenient

Cell phone recycling companies are not picky about which cell phones they take. It doesn’t matter what your handset is, they’ll take it off you.

This allows you to avoid the disruption of putting your cell phone up for sale on eBay or Craigslist. Or, rather persuading your friend to buy it off you for a discount rate.

9. It’s the Law

You wouldn’t want to break the law, would you?

Well, it’s good to know that around 25 US states have already introduced legislation on e-waste.

In some cases, this has made it illegal to dispose of your cell phone. It should be recycled.

10. Doing Your Bit for the Planet

People often say that they care about the planet and its environment. However, you need to turn words into actions.

When you recycle your cell phone, you contribute to making the Earth’s environment just a little bit better.

This should give you a warm and happy feeling inside that you made the right choice about what to do with your old device.

Why You Should Recycle Your Cell Phone

Now you know why it’s so important to recycle your old cell phone. There a bunch of awful consequences of simply disposing of your smartphone into the trash.

Is your smartphone’s screen broken? Check out this blog post on what to do about your smashed screen here.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.