It seems like it doesn’t need to be said, but you should never just throw your old Android phone in the trash. Whether or not you can make money from it, it’s always a good thing to have an old phone recycled and repurposed into a new one down the road. This guide will give you some options for recycling your old Android phone – and who knows? You can even make some money out of it.
Choosing to recycle your old Android phones is only a good thing. Here’s how recycling a phone works.
You hand in your old phone to a company or service, and they (might) give you some money. That phone is then either refurbished and sold or systematically broken down, with some parts and parts being reused as raw materials or components in new devices.
Doing this accomplishes a few positive things. This refurbished device either goes to someone who needs a decent phone for a pretty good price, ideally, or the components of this phone are reused. In both scenarios, almost nothing in this phone gets lost.
In reality, phones are incredibly expensive. If you can let your old device go through one of these processes, it will be easier for more people to buy a device. Eventually, mass recycling could even lower the cost of new devices. Companies like Google and Samsung are making at least a small effort to incorporate recycled materials into their devices, though these materials usually started out as something other than a phone component.
Options to Recycle Your Old Android Phone
Thinking of it as having only two options – to throw the device away or recycle it – makes the decision to throw away a device much easier. But when you step back and look at all of your recycling options, suddenly it almost becomes easier to recycle.
Here are some options you have to recycle your old Android phone:
- sell it
- Drop it off at a kiosk or recycling location
- Trade it in for a new device
- Return it to the manufacturer
All of these options are good for getting rid of devices that just sit around gathering dust. In fact, three of the four options listed above include payment in exchange for the device. The only option where this does not happen is if you voluntarily return your device to the manufacturer.
Point: Before doing any among these, be sure to factory reset your device.
1. Sell your device
No matter how old your device is, there’s always someone willing to pay something for it. Selling your devices is usually pretty easy to do, and there are tons of sites out there that can let you do it while protecting you and the buyer.
In general, we recommend Swapa to sell your device to someone who might be interested. There are a few fees involved, but the staff are generally very good at making sure you get your money’s worth from the individual purchase, as long as you follow the rules.
If you’re looking to recycle your Android device without going through the hassle of a sale, Declines is a great option. Instead of selling your devices to someone to use, Decluttr takes the devices and refurbishes or recycles them for you. Once you’ve started the process, you’ll receive a welcome pack with a label so you can pack up your device and ship it to them. After you arrive, your device will be inspected and you will be paid.
2. Drop your device somewhere
While selling a device online might net you a bit more money, dropping off your old Android phone for recycling at a trade-in kiosk can be a much simpler solution. There are no third parties to deal with and the transaction is incredibly fast.
A popular service to use is called ecoATM. EcoATM has kiosks in major areas that allow you to pick up your phone, drop it off and get cash. The only downside here is that there is no set value for each device. Instead, you must bring your phone and let the kiosk scan it to determine its value. If you get a good enough offer, you can accept it and get some money.
If the device is beyond repair and you don’t expect to make any money from it, you can always take it to Best Buy. Best Buy has a “no questions asked” device recycling program that lets you take your old phone and set it free. Of course, Best Buy doesn’t offer monetary compensation like some of the other options out there.
3. Trade in your device for
When a new phone comes out, most OEMs are willing to accept device trade-ins to reduce the cost of the new device. Sometimes manufacturers even increase trade-in values to entice you to return your old devices.
For example, when the Pixel 6a was made available to customers, the trade values of older Pixels skyrocketed, making you feel crazy. not to trade in your old device. This effort goes towards a better environment since trading in your old phone means that one can be used again and again one day.
These take-back programs are not limited to Google. Almost every major OEM and carrier has a program where you can send in your old device to get a better price on a brand new one. It’s an easy way to get a big discount.
4. Sending the device to the manufacturer
Besides trade-ins, most OEMs also accept old devices shipped directly to their doorstep. From there, they can reuse or recycle the device and turn it into a new one on the road. Here are some great company programs:
Each of these programs varies in some way, as it is up to the manufacturer to decide how to implement the program. Of these three, Google’s program seems to be the easiest to participate. Unfortunately, these programs tend not to include compensation for those who send their devices in for recycling, unlike the trade-in using Decluttr or another program.
Point: If you don’t care about getting money for your device, Decluttr has a charity option that lets you transfer your compensation to a good cause.
One way to recycle your device that isn’t exactly standard is to do something called “upcycling”. Upcycling allows you to reuse your device without tearing it. One example uses Samsung’s SmartThings to turn your old Galaxy device into a sensor for home automation. Older Galaxy phones can listen for and record important noises like a baby’s cry or an alarm that goes off to alert you to danger. They can also be used as a light sensor to determine when it’s dark and turn on the lights.
However you decide to recycle your old device, there are plenty of options. Whether it’s giving it back for cash or dropping it off at Best Buy, you really can’t go wrong. If you recycle your old Android phone, it will ensure that it will serve long after its end of life. Considering the number of devices manufactured and sold each year, choosing to recycle is a fantastic option.
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