7 Simple Methods for Getting Rid of Your Outdated Cell Phones in the United Kingdom
As Britons, we have gained a reputation for our hoarding tendencies. According to research conducted by eBay in 2021, our reluctance to part with outdated items has led to an accumulation of belongings worth a staggering £55 billion. In the same year, the average value of hoarded household items reached £1,784. However, these figures skyrocketed even further in 2023.
When it comes to our inclination to store outdated gadgets in our homes, a survey carried out by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2021 discovered that we have accumulated a whopping 40 million unused gadgets. Additionally, 45% of us retain up to 5 old, malfunctioning, or out-of-date devices in our cupboards or drawers.
Earn Cash Through Recycling Old Mobile PhonesNow, when it comes to responsibly disposing of old mobile phones, throwing them in the bin or sending them to the landfill is not the answer. You may be surprised to learn that approximately 80% of a phone's components can be recycled.
Mobile phones are composed of numerous materials, some of which are quite valuable, such as high-grade plastic, silver, lithium, and even gold. These metals can be extracted and reused. If you wish to dispose of old mobile phones responsibly, it is crucial to do so in a sensible manner.
P.S: Improperly disposing of old mobile phones leads to an increase in waste in landfills. This hazardous waste takes many years to decompose and can contribute to elevated pollution levels as toxic elements leach into the soil and surrounding water.
If you keep old phones in your house for extended periods, the harmful chemical elements present in the plastic casing and phone battery can have adverse effects on your health.
The Proper Way to Dispose of Old Mobile PhonesLetting go of a once beloved gadget can be a challenging task. Many individuals are either unwilling or unsure of how to properly dispose of their old mobile phones. Fret not, as we will provide you with some easy and beneficial methods that you are bound to love.
Here are a few options available to you if you no longer want your old mobile phone:
- Sell it and make a decent amount of money
- Recycle it and earn some cash
- Gift it to someone in need
- Donate it to a charitable organization
- Trade it in for a new device or a voucher
- Keep it as a backup for uncertain times (e.g., when your primary phone malfunctions or is lost)
The Best Uses for Your Old Mobile PhoneNow, let's explore the various ways you can make the most out of your old mobile phone.
1. Share it with a friend or family member as a giftOur friends and family members always come first. We all have that one friend or relative who isn't particularly tech-savvy and isn't bothered about having the latest technological features in their devices. So, even if your mobile phone isn't the newest model, as long as it functions properly, you can give it to your friend or family member as a thoughtful gesture.
Typically, young people or older adults are content with using older handsets. Not only can it be an upgrade for them, but it also offers an opportunity for them to explore features they may not be familiar with.
For example, youngsters can utilize their smartphones to join classrooms, engage in group activities or chat with friends through apps like WhatsApp. They can also access educational resources on platforms like YouTube and subscribe to informative channels to aid in exam preparation, or simply stay connected with their parents.
Older adults can benefit from features like Google Maps for easy navigation. They can also create accounts on social media platforms to stay informed and engaged.
2. Give it to someone in need within your communityConsider presenting your old mobile phone to someone around you who may be in need, such as a custodian or a hardworking student struggling to cover educational expenses. In these challenging times of inflation, they may greatly appreciate receiving a not-so-old phone. Your gift can be a pleasant surprise for them, and it will leave a lasting impression.
Furthermore, much like an adolescent or an elderly individual in your family, it will provide significant assistance to them in various ways. It enables them to connect with their loved ones and accomplish simple tasks such as navigation, obtaining help during emergencies, utilizing it as an educational tool, engaging in games, and many other activities.
3. Personally Sell Your Mobile PhoneWhen you wish to sell your handset in person, there are numerous options available. Publicize it on social media buying and selling groups. Explore mobile markets in your vicinity to obtain an estimate of the value of your old phone.
It is advisable not to limit yourself to only your local shop or market. Venture into other areas within your city to uncover the best deals. The prices offered by different retailers and secondhand gadget stores may vary depending on the market area and store.
Most shops that deal with used phones offer a service for recycling old devices. They provide two options: either they will pay you the full amount upfront and refurbish the phone, or they will offer you a discount if you choose to purchase a new phone as part of their exchange program.
Whichever option you select, you will either earn money from an old and unused gadget or save a significant amount if you decide to upgrade to the latest model.
4. Sell it on the InternetAmazon and eBay are the initial platforms that come to mind when considering selling various items such as electronics, furniture, clothing, and so on. However, there are several apps and websites that simplify the selling process and offer you quick cash in exchange for your phone.
Comparison websites like Compare and Recycle, Sell My Mobile, and similar platforms assist you in swiftly finding the best deals. They provide you with multiple valuations from various companies that are ready to purchase your handheld device.
Some time ago, I had the opportunity to use one of these websites, and during that period, I was offered £250 for an unlocked iPhone 11 Pro, 64GB. Most online tech-buying companies offer free postage for sending your smartphone.
Before finalizing the transaction for recycling your mobile phone, carefully read the terms and conditions on the company's website. This will provide assistance if any unforeseen circumstances arise. Take several photographs of your mobile phone before posting it, and retain the proof of delivery.
If the company asserts that your mobile phone was not in the state you described, or if it never reached their facility, you can counter their claims with the evidence you have already obtained.
Apart from the aforementioned names, there are several other reputable retailers in the market, such as Gumtree, CeX, EcoATM, Mazuma, and musicMagpie, who also deal with items like DVDs, CDs, and books. Take a look at similar models you are attempting to sell in order to gauge the appropriate price tag for your device.
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5. Donate Your Mobile Phone to CharityIn addition to selling or giving your phone to a loved one, there are alternative methods of recycling mobile phones. One option is to donate it to a charity for a good cause. Numerous charities in the UK have centers in various cities where you can donate your phone.
You can donate your old device to well-known organizations like WeeeCharity. They will send a representative to your house to collect it, completely free of charge. They repurpose, recycle, and resell the gadgets to raise funds for community welfare. WeeeCharity accepts phones in any condition.
A leading telecommunications company, Three, also donates phones to charities such as the Good Things Foundation and LetsLocalise through its 'Reconnected' initiative.
Other reputable organizations that contribute to positive causes include Water Aid and Oxfam. Their websites provide clear instructions on how to donate old and unused mobile phones.
Depending on the condition of these devices, they refurbish and recycle them. According to Water Aid, each donated phone helps raise £5. Additionally, you can donate the money earned from selling your technology on eBay's 'list of charity' or other similar websites.
6. Exchange your smartphone
The process is quite familiar to most individuals. Numerous companies and upscale stores offer the option for people to trade in their electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets in exchange for newer models at a reduced price. In addition to receiving a discount on the purchase of a new device, individuals can also obtain a gift card.
One prominent example is the Apple website, where you can exchange your previous iPhone models for up to £565. The value of the trade-in depends on the condition and model of the phone. Even older models like the iPhone 7 can save you up to £40.
To determine how much you can save on your next purchase and which models offer the greatest savings, visit Apple’s trade-in page. Below are some notable companies that offer trade-in services.
Select the option that best suits your needs, such as credit towards brand purchases or immediate cash payment.
Carphone Warehouse: They assure prompt payment to your bank account based on the condition, model, and make of your phone.
Currys: You can trade in a variety of tech gadgets, including laptops, gaming consoles, mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other devices.
Three: Sell your old phones, tablets, and wearable gadgets in exchange for same-day payments, provided that they receive your device before 1 pm.
EE trade-in: Whether it's a smartphone, tablet, or mobile device, you can take advantage of EE's user-friendly trade-in service. According to EE's statement, the average value of devices traded from January to July 2022 was £170.
Vodafone: They accept only phones. As compensation, you can choose between a bank money transfer, credit in your Vodafone account, or savings on your monthly bill.
Before deciding to trade in your old phone with a specific company, check if they offer free postage or if you need to visit their store in person.
7. Dispose of your mobile phone at a recycling center
Here's another method for securely getting rid of your old mobile phone. Simply drop off your outdated device at council recycling centers, as they willingly accept electronics like laptops, outdated PSBs, and mobile phones.
The centers utilize metal and plastic shredders for this purpose. Following that, the remains are sorted using magnets and near-infrared light. Recycling the raw materials extracted from these devices can lead to cost savings, as they can be used to create other affordable products.
If your phone is still functional or requires minor repairs, it is advisable to reuse it based on the aforementioned ideas. Recycling or discarding it should be a last resort.
Reuse and recycle your mobile phone chargers and batteries
If you're concerned about how and where to recycle phone chargers and batteries, worry no more. We have you covered! The solution is simple: recycle the accessories along with your device, rather than separately.
For example, if you are selling your smartphone online or in person, most companies and buyers will require the charger to be included with the device. However, if you intend to dispose of only the mobile battery, you can drop it off at a kerbside collector established by your local council.
Another option for securely disposing of old mobile phones is to drop them off at collection facilities in stores that deal with batteries or at battery and charger drop-off points in your nearest supermarket, among other locations.
Remember, because most batteries are made of Lithium-ion and Cobalt, it is important to recycle them responsibly rather than simply throwing them in the trash. Improper disposal can lead to potentially dangerous outcomes, such as battery explosions.
Perform a factory reset on your phone
Whether you're giving away your old mobile phone as a gift, donating it to someone in need, selling it, or donating it to a charity, it is crucial to back up and wipe all data from the device. This ensures that you are safeguarded against unauthorized access to your private information.
Additionally, remove the SIM card and memory card before handing the device to anyone. Here's how you can perform a factory reset on both Android and iPhone devices.
Performing a Factory Reset on an Android Smartphone
- Access the Settings Application on your mobile device
- Navigate to the System, then Advanced, and finally Reset options
- Choose the Erase all data option, followed by selecting Reset phone
- Enter your device's unique personal identification number (PIN), then click Continue
- Confirm your choice by tapping 'Erase everything'
It's important to note that the steps outlined above might differ slightly depending on the specific brand and model of your Android phone. For a comprehensive and accurate guide on performing a factory reset, consider visiting the official website of the phone manufacturer or consulting Google.
Factory Resetting an iPhone
- Access the Settings Application on your iPhone
- Select the General tab, then tap on Reset
- Choose the option Erase All Content and Settings
Once you have successfully performed a factory reset on your phone and erased all data, you can confidently hand it over to someone without any concerns.
Have we overlooked any important information regarding the secure disposal of old mobile phones in the UK? Please inform us if there are any additional points we should consider!
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