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Question of the Week: What did you do with your old cell phone?

2009 April 6

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Electronics such as cell phones can be recycled to reuse valuable materials and keep harmful substances out of the environment.  April 6-12 is Cell Phone Recycling Week.

What did you do with your old cell phone?

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39 Responses leave one →
  1. Timothy Brewster permalink
    April 6, 2009

    Recycled it at the store where I purchased my new phone

  2. Steve permalink
    April 6, 2009

    Based on EPA’s “Where to Recycle Your Cell Phone” web page, I found out that Office Depot has a electronics recycling program. I stopped by on my way home, bought one of their boxes, and put all sorts of approved electronics in the box. Office Depot took care of the rest!

  3. Marjorie permalink
    April 6, 2009

    Gave it to my toddlers to play with. It’s one of their favorite toys.

  4. Matt permalink
    April 6, 2009

    Marjorie, Kids love playing with old cell phones. You should still consider removing if not recycling the battery as it could pose a danger to children or pets (not to mention the environment).

  5. Michelle permalink
    April 6, 2009

    I always donate mine to charities who plan to reuse them for soldiers, battered women, or other groups who need avenues to communication. Most recently I donated my phone to a program that helps our vets returning from combat get back on their feet and reintegrated to civilian culture.

  6. Cathy permalink
    April 6, 2009

    I am still using my old cell phone and hope to be using the same one 10 years from now.

  7. Karen permalink
    April 6, 2009

    Having teen kids, I have recycled more then I care to remember.

  8. Green Army Wife permalink
    April 7, 2009

    I collected a few from friends and my son’s old one, took them to be recycled. In the past, I threw them away…laziness.

  9. Bika permalink
    April 7, 2009

    Can you imagine 80,000 tons of extra waste generated every year simply because of a small plastic device? Well this holds to be true because cell phones are one of the waste products that, unneccesarly fill up land fills. I try to avoid this problem by simply recycling my old phone as soon as i get my new phone. This way I am free of unwanted cell phone clutter! :)

  10. Dennis Myers permalink
    April 8, 2009

    We recycle them by turning them into a collection that goes to women’s shelters for emergency phones. The phones are checked over and given to women who need an emergency phone for medical or police assistance.

  11. Michalene permalink
    April 8, 2009

    first of all, I use my phone as long as possible. so I have only had one to do something with over the years. My granddaughter is 9 and she takes pictures with it and plays with it. When she is done, it will go to the local recycling center.

  12. David Devarakonda permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I’ll submit it to the Recycling process

  13. Gegetta permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I give my older cell phones to needy people in my area who’s phones are even older…

  14. Jen permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I sent my old cell phones to They give you money in exchange for phones that still have some value. Those phones can be re-sold or given to people who need them. If it’s not of worth anymore (too old, missing parts, broken, etc.) they recycle it for you.

  15. YANG Jin permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I sell it to the recycling people like these repairing shop.

  16. yvonne permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I took it to the t-mobile to recycle

  17. marcye dube permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I still have it and the one before it.

  18. Joe permalink
    April 8, 2009

    Does WasteStream have an electronics recycling program? I don’t have a place like office depot around where I live, but I have plenty of electronics including an old cell phone that have been filling up my closet because I can’t fathom throwing them in with regular garbage.

  19. Lorraine permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I brought it to the local domestic violence shelter for them to reprogram and give to shelter inhabitants.

  20. April permalink
    April 8, 2009

    My cell phone carrier accepts the old phone back and then donates them to a woman’s shelter.

  21. April 8, 2009

    I took them to the central library in Portland, OR for recycling.

  22. Trina permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I can’t remember where I got it, but I received an envelope (sponsored by some nonprofit) that allowed you to mail, free of charge, my old cell phones to soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan so that they could receive phone calls.

  23. Sandra permalink
    April 8, 2009

    A lot of electronics that are “recycled” end up being shipped overseas where they are taken apart for their valuable metals; many computers containing lead end up harming workers (often without proper protection) and polluting water and producing trash anyway. Tell our country to stop environmental injustice!

  24. Wilson permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I´m from Colombia, in my country there is a company that has a program of recycle of old cell phone. company says to all people that we can carry our old cell phone and deposit it in a special container.

  25. Ryan Baldwin permalink
    April 8, 2009

    Verizon Wireless has a program called HopeLine. They recycle or refurbish the phones to donate to victims of domestic violence or shelters for domestic violence.

  26. Luis Visani permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I’ m from Brazil and There we have the opportunity to change the cell phone in the store that you had bougth it, with a discount to buy a new one. There are some appropriate locals to leave the former cell phone and batteries. After that it will be collected and recycled.

  27. Bill permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I recycle my cell phones and other electronics at the recycling drop off events that are sponsored by our city.

  28. Judy in Durham, NC permalink
    April 8, 2009

    Donated them.

  29. pallav dwivedi permalink
    April 8, 2009

    sir i am pallav dwivedi from india. you ask about what did u do with your old cell phone. regarding that well i kept that in my lab & use for electronic circuit design how that chip is manufactured& how it will work when come in small size PCB.Basically its very importnat for every student to hold old phone to cultivate their mental prosporities & efficency..

  30. Cat permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I donated my old cell phones to “Cell phones for Soldiers”.
    I would never ever simply throw away any electronics. Those that are too obsolete for use, I take to solid waste facilities for proper disposal/recycling. Period.

  31. Logan permalink
    April 8, 2009

    I actually got my old cell from my mom on my 15th birthday. I saved up enough money from two Christmas’s ago and bought myself a new touch screen cell phone. Then when my mom’s recent phone broke, she went back to using my old cell, until she goes and gets a new one.

  32. bitsy permalink
    April 9, 2009

    Ive still got mine , its about 10 years old and still works fine.When it gives up the ghost ill recycle it.

  33. Gabriel Michas permalink
    April 9, 2009

    Well, I used to change once or twice a year my cell device according cell gadget trends. An old habit tec of mine in a way. When time comes for the change I give the device as my old number as well to my relatives. They don’t have to buy a new one and by this I double the recycle effect I guess.

  34. sharon permalink
    April 9, 2009

    I gave it to my sister who didn’t have a phone.

  35. arthur permalink
    April 10, 2009

    I took the battery to the recycle bin. Drove there in my Cadillac Escalade.
    The phone body itself, I doused in lighter fluid and set on fire to melt it. Then I threw the mess in the trash.

  36. Diane P. permalink
    April 13, 2009

    We had 4 old cell phones and sent them to a company that cleans them up, fixes anything that needs fixing and gives them to those that need phones.

  37. Sara permalink
    April 14, 2009

    Our old phones go the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter. Should be sending 2 in a couple of weeks, as ours are about done for.

  38. Gretchen permalink
    April 16, 2009

    We use it as a recharging station for our current cell batteries. We eliminated our house phone because it was cheaper for everyone to have a cell on our family plan and gave us contact at all times instead of just when someone was home. Instead of having a bunch of chargers plugged in all over frequently, we use the old phone to charge multiple batteries in just a few hours a couple times a week. As someone needs one they take from the charged pile 7 leave in the uncharged pile. We alternate who’s ‘in charge of charging’, and that person is responsible for changing out batteries within 10 min of each full charge until it’s done. It saves a surprising amount of energy over the course of a month.

  39. Kannan Venkatachalam permalink
    July 24, 2009

    As a Citizen of India, it’s my resposibility to keep the environment in balanced condition. For that i’ll work very hard day in and day out.

    So I promise that if at all my mobile looks old to my eyes , I’ll definitely replace it with new Sony brand mobile that worths atleat 20 – 30 thousand. And i’ll give my old mobile for recycling.

    Once agin Be proud to be Citizen of India.

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