How to Properly Recycle Your Phone (and Even Get Cash Out of It!)

So, you finally have a new phone. The next thing you need to do is offload your old one. There are many ways to do so. You can always keep it as a spare phone in case you may need it in the future. You can also give it to a family member or a friend. You can even get cash or credits out of it.

Don’t worry if your old device has scratches or chips. You’d be surprised how many companies buy old phones that are still usable, not to mention how much you can get from your cracked phone. Even stores that sell cell-phone units often buy old smartphones. You just need to figure out if you want to get cash, credits, or a trade-in value for it.


Contact the old phone’s direct manufacturer.

All big tech companies have their own recycling programs. You can take advantage of that regardless of your phone’s operating system. Visit a branch of your old phone’s manufacturer and ask about their recycling program.

With Apple, they let you bring your old iPhone to any of their Apple Store. Alternatively, you can drop your phone in the mail. If your iPhone is relatively new, you may even receive a gift card you can use when you make a different Apple purchase.

Samsung, on the other hand, has a Mobile Take-Back Program. You need to send your old Samsung smartphone using a prepaid envelope and mail it back to the company. They will do the recycling for you to minimize the effect on the environment. Like Apple, you may also get some sort of freebie or gift card if you’re recycling a newer model of a Samsung phone.

The same process is available for LG and HTC users. These companies have a specific page on their respective sites that can inform you on how to recycle your old phone. HTC accepts old devices from other brands.


Go to your local retail stores.

If you don’t want to send your old phone back to its manufacturer, visit your local retail stores like Best Buy and Staples. Keep in mind that these retail stores, particularly Best Buy, won’t necessarily give you cash or credits when you hand them your old phone. But they would certainly dispose of your device properly and ethically. In fact, you can bring any old or broken gadget to Best Buy and they’ll handle the recycling for you.

Staples is another retail store that has an extensive recycling program for gadgets. If your old phone still works and is quite a new model, you can get some Staples credits back. You can use the credits to spend on something else from the store.

Another great alternative is to check with your phone carrier. The leading telecom providers in the US have their own recycling programs as well. Some of them offer a trade-in value that you can use when you buy a new gadget.


There are many ways you can dispose of your old phone properly. Get rid of through whatever means most suitable to your situation, but never dump it straight into the trash can.