Let’s set the scene. Your old phone was starting to have battery issues, or you just cracked your screen and don’t want to have to deal with a phone repair service, or worse a manufacturer attempting to fix it. So you go get a new phone. Great! But now what do you do with the old one?
You could just throw it out, but that’d be the worst possible choice ecologically. Phones contain harsh chemicals and heavy metals, like lithium, cadmium, gold, and others. It’s potentially harmful substances are safe while inside the casing, but over time and with wear and tear, they are subject to degradation, and eventually decompose, releasing these pollutants.
So the trash is a no go for a whole host of reasons. “Okay” you think, “Can I just throw it in the recycling bin and be done with it? I really don’t want this just lying around my house with all my personal information still on it” And you could, that’s the next best option after avoiding the trash can. Your phone will be processed by a recycling facility, and will be broken down into its components, separated, and shipped off to various other refurbishing or recycling facilities, where they’ll attempt to reuse as much of your old phone as possible. Unfortunately however, once its already been used once, plastics and silicones are much more difficult to repurpose, and will most likely end up in the same sort of landfill your phone would have arrived at in our first scenario.
“Well I can’t just send it to you as is” you think, “I don’t know if I can trust someone with my old device” Which to your point, is a reasonable concern, in general you shouldn’t share personal information with strangers. Always purge any personal data, passwords, or contact information before sending your phone to a reseller. There are many ways to do this, but in general most modern cellphones are equipped with a factory reset directive, normally involving holding down a combination of buttons for a period of time. This can be found by looking up your cellphone model and finding the manual, normally on the manufacturers website. Once that’s done your phone is essentially brand new, and shouldn’t pose any sort of security threat to your personal information.
As an R2 Certified Recycler, part of our responsibility at EOS is to account for if this process is not undergone. The first step of our cellphone processing is to make sure all information has been deleted off the device, so that it can’t be accessed by any future owner. Then we go through the process of cleaning, testing, and quality controlling your phone. Depending on said quality, the phone’s potential value is calculated, and you receive a rebate for your efforts. When recycling an old phone, the best option for your bottom line is to use a service like ours, so you are compensated for the value of your device once you’re finished using it. Rather than throwing it in the trash or recycling bin, with the extra step of recycling responsibly, you can be sure your device was handled ethically, and no undue environmental consequences are incurred. Click here to learn more about our services, and how recycling your old cellphones and other devices can benefit you and your sustainability goals. Click here to go directly to our mail-in recycling program, and get secure shipping options for your devices.