How To Dispose Of A Used Cell Phone

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Most people keep a cell phone for 18 months before they decide they have to upgrade to a newer, less antiquated model. It’s estimated that nearly 2 million cell phones get replaced every week, opening our eyes to a growing “cell phone disposal” problem. Cell phones contain mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and the EPA has designated them as “hazardous,” meaning they are not meant to be thrown away in a garbage can.

A number of people simply keep their old phones around the house after getting a new one. They figure they’ll go back to the phone if their new one breaks or is lost. This works for a while, but at some point they will want to get rid of the phone…maybe after they replace their newest phone with an updated model. Other people recycle or donate their old phones and a large used cell phone market has sprouted up whereby people can get a phone they normally wouldn’t be able to afford at discounted prices. Regardless of what you decide to do with your old phone, when it comes time to get rid of it, keep the following in mind:

First and foremost, make sure your account with your cellular provider is up accurate with the right information about which phone should be active. I’m sure you would hate to donate it and then find out that it was used to call China for 8 hours on your coin.

Remove all information and setting alerataions that you made from the phone. Take the SIM card out and follow the instruction manual’s directions for restoring to original settings. This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do this.

If you’re planning to give or sell the phone to another person to use, try to do them a favor and get the phone unlocked first. An unlocked blackberry will attract more potential buyers and will ensure that it works on the network of your buyer. If you have a fancy phone, like a used Blackberry, you can often get a bit of your initial investment back by selling it.

Finally, do anything you can to keep the phone from landfills. Don’t toss it in a trash can or dumpster in the parking lot of your local cell phone store. Recycle it. Donate it. Keep it for emergencies. Do anything but trash it. The potential environmental impacts are not good and are easy to avoid.

Whatever your motivation for getting rid of your old phone, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure your personal security and dispose of the phone correctly.

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