Recycling Your Old Cell Phones And Computers

Many places take old phones and computer parts. Old phones are used to allow battered women to call 911 in the event of an emergency. The old batteries in them are recycled and disposed of properly. When this happens we don't need to worry about what leaches into our drinking water. Old computer parts are broken down and melted and used to make other parts. Sometimes there are parts that can be saved and added to another computer.


I'd really love for my Grandson to grow up knowing his world is taken care of. It would be wonderful to know that people think ahead and decide the future now rather than when it is too late. So be sure you ask about recycling at the plant or through your public information centers. Oh, and take those old batteries you have been saving and dispose of them properly while you are at it! It is all of our business to know our Earth is free and clean.

By gem from VA

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5 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Should I break my phones and tablet before I put them into the recycling or hand them over to Best Buy?


January 18, 20190 found this helpful

I just took a bunch and just googled each one and did three factory resets per phone. Just repeated process 3 times. I have taken many lots of phone's (mine allows 3 a day) to BB and knock on wood, no issues.

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January 18, 20190 found this helpful

I take the obvious parts apart (battery, sim). Then I break it into pieces where it cannot be fixed again and hand it over to local recycling that the high schools host (free to recycle).

I recently recycled a tv and some printers as well.

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January 19, 20190 found this helpful

It is not necessary to do that.

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January 20, 20190 found this helpful

no, definitely do NOT break your phones/devices. Doing so can be extremely toxic as there are many toxic and dangerous chemicals and processes both in batteries and the screens of phones.

This is one reason why recycling programs exist, so as to hopefully keep these dangerous items out of landfills

another option is selling them for cheap on ebay

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful


Staples stores will recycle cell phones, except for smaller stores in New York City and Washington D.C.


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March 10, 20190 found this helpful

Can't you just erase of delete everything? Maybe call Best Buy and ask?

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Has anyone ever heard of a place called 'Recycling Center' in Franklin, TN? They give you a postage paid plastic bag and you send them your old ink jet cartridges or cell phones. How are they recycled? Who gets them? If it's for charity, schools, senior centers, etc... fine. But if they're going to resell them to the general public, no. Does anyone know how this place works?

Joan from Chesapeake, VA


February 25, 20080 found this helpful

I pick up the postage paid mailers at my post office. One of the postal employees told me that every time I mail in a cartridge the post office either gets 5 or 10 cents each from the recyling center.

Found a website about the recyling center:

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February 25, 20080 found this helpful

I live in Greenville TN. I wondered the same thing to about a month ago when I got a prepaid bag type envelope to mail cell phones in which said they were going to the soldiers so they can use them. I just looked up the web site for frankling and it said they use them for making parts and the moneys go to charities and such. here is that link:

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By ladylynnk (Guest Post)
February 26, 20080 found this helpful

I got my recycle bags for that company at Walmart, next to the new cartridges for printers. I found the refill kits at Walmart at a fraction of what new ones cost and less to recycle, 7 fills per kit. Good deal if you ask me.

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By sharon (Guest Post)
February 26, 20080 found this helpful

For your ink carts check you schools sometimes they save them and get extra money for them. Yes, companies refill them.

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March 2, 20080 found this helpful

Pet Smart recycles them and gets money back for the adoptees. A couple of our thrift stores have a box for donations, and also schools collect them for money.

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I have a drawer containing a few cellphones and a tablet. They all have cracked screens and such. I want to recycle them, but I really don't trust tossing them into the trash, because I feel that my personal information is still on them.

What should I do?


January 14, 20190 found this helpful

If you can turn them on still with the charging cord, you can erase and clear the history.

Even so, I felt more safer breaking it and recycling it in pieces.

More information:

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January 15, 20190 found this helpful

You can open it and remove the SIM card. You can also take it to an electronic recycling center.

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December 11, 2018

Should I destroy my old devices, cellphones, before I recycle them? I don't want to take them to Best Buy and just drop them off.

They say to do a factory reset on it, but I don't trust it.


December 11, 20180 found this helpful

I would remove the SIM card. My town has an electronic waste. You actually see your product going into a large bin to be recycled.

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December 12, 20180 found this helpful

I have taken 10 phones to Best Buy and have not had any trouble. I think they do it right because they don't want the bad publicity if they did it wrong. It is free, which is good! Ours you have to hand them to the person in the electronics department because they said people were stealing them from the bin. If your store has a bin, you may want to pass, but if you give it to the customer service person, I feel it is a little safer. I am not very trusting, but this has worked for me so far! I did google each phone and how to do the factory reset on it and did that three times before handing it over. Not sure why I picked 3, just me :)

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December 15, 20180 found this helpful

Best Buy is probably safe as long as they are not just thrown into a bin - if you do not know how they are handled then you can ask and make your decision.

I can tell you that many drop off places do just place them in containers for a private recycle person to pick up on certain days. That pick up person will many times be one that clears cell phones and resells them (usually on eBay).
Here is a link that tells about the Best Buy program.

Information link:

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