Where do you recycle old cell phones? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-20-2008, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have two old cell phones (circa 2000) and all their respective parts (car chargers, home chargers, manual). I want to donate or recycle them. I have asked around and haven't gotten any definitive answers.

So, today I searched on a local nonprofit website (I Love a Clean San Diego) and got a list of places that will recycle them.

I called Best Buy first since they are retail and open today. After speaking with three people, I got an answer on what they do with them. They box 'em up and ship them to Dexter, MI to be used in a joint project between Best Buy and the Boys & Girls Club. Interesting. Why ship them, though??? (Manager didn't have an answer beyond that's what we do and it is a national program.)

I also called a local/national (?) recycling company with a facility near our local dump. The woman who answered the phone said they ship them to the state of California, who then dismantles them and recycles the individual parts. Her accent was difficult to understand, so I am not sure I understood her correctly. I think she said the state contracts with a private company to do the dismantling. Again, why ship them anywhere?

Why waste the resources shipping these items around the country???

There are more places on the list that I plan to call tomorrow (Monday). I am hoping one of the local companies does something local with them.

Meanwhile, are there any programs you know of where I can actually donate these to be used again???

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#2 of 6 Old 07-21-2008, 04:09 AM
 
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there was some women's shelter where I lived once that took them.

have you tried any of the cell phone stores in your area? many of them have drop offs and donate them to a certain cause- but probably will be shipped off.
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#3 of 6 Old 07-21-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by orangekoolaid View Post
there was some women's shelter where I lived once that took them.

have you tried any of the cell phone stores in your area? many of them have drop offs and donate them to a certain cause- but probably will be shipped off.
Yes Domestic violence shelters will take the phones. Even if they are old and have no minutes on them, as long as they will charge, a domestic violence victim will be able to call 911 if she is in danger.
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#4 of 6 Old 07-21-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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I was able to drop ours off at my son's school. I know that the YWCA in town also accepted them. Good for you for asking if they will be locally utilized... I never thought of that!

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#5 of 6 Old 07-21-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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Women's shelters in my region take them, also many stores here have prepaid bags to ship old cell phones to American service people stationed abroad. My brother was in the army and he said some of the care packages they got contained old cell phones and phone calling cards. I know that isn't exactly local, but at least the phone is being reused as a phone (not dismantled) and it makes a real difference for a real person (instead of just looking good on a corporate statement).

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#6 of 6 Old 07-21-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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We have a local place that takes many old electronics and supposedly recycles them....but I question. I heard that they try to referbish the stuff and send it over seas....not sure I believe it since I have seen their dumpster full of said electronics.

You could try cell phone providers. Our provider always gives option for you to trade it in....they referb phones and use them as loaners or sell at cheaper prices. I do not know what their criteria are.

I do not know about the whole phone but staples takes the batteries.
Some city recycling places take them

Some organizations such as non profits and some schools take them to turn them in to get money for the school/organization

there are online places that recycle the batteries...but that is probably not local either
.....I do not know what happens to the phone/batteries or where. I would say a lot of them all go to the same companies because I would doubt that they are a lot of options for companies that dismantle cell phones.......thus the reason for shipping...not everywhere has places to disassemble....I know I could not do it without a sledge hammer.....lol.

What is the big deal about shipping?

A way to locally reuse it would be by giving it to a thrift store or shelter, garage sell it, or list it on a local craigs list., find some who needs a new phone but can not afford one...or giving it to a kid for a toy....that is what we do.
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