Just 8 percent of old cell phones are recycled each year. Maybe you have a few stuck in the back of a closet somewhere. If thrown away, those old phones can leach out toxic chemicals, not to mention waste metals and materials that would go to good use if recycled. The EPA estimates that, for every one million cell phones recycled, over 35,000 pounds of copper and 75 pounds of gold can be recovered for re-use.
Here are three ways your old phone can do more than clog up a landfill — from supporting animals to helping domestic violence survivors.
1. Support Animals
More than 100 zoos have partnered with Eco-Cell to raise money and recycle old electronic devices. Simply bring your old phone or handheld device to a participating zoo (find one here), and they’ll send them on to Eco-Cell. Many of them are refurbished and resold, with some funds then going to participating zoos, and those that remain are then recycled.
2. Recycle Electronics When You Get School Supplies
Staples stores accept small – and large – electronics devices for free recycling. Bring your old electronics along when you pick up new pens for the year. Find your nearest Staples store here.
3. Help Victims of Domestic Violence
Through HopeLine, Verizon donates refurbished old phones, equipped with 3000 minutes and texting capabilities, to domestic violence survivors. You can donate your old phone and accessories, from any service provider, at a Verizon store.