News & Blog

Many Options For Getting Rid Of Your Old Mobile Phone

By Francis West on 27th October 2016
Filed under: Technology

It is thought that there are more than 75 million unused mobile phone handsets currently in the UK, so rather than leaving it the drawer or even binning it, many people are swapping their old handset for money and / or the feel-good factor.

Binning Them A Bad Option.

The worst option for that many old handsets from an environmental point of view is putting them in the bin. It is estimated for example that 75+ million handsets contain enough toxic substances to pollute over 3 trillion litres of water, and therefore if we can’t just keep leave them in a drawer or throw them in the bin, what other options are there? Here are some tried and tested options:

Sell or Recycle The Handset.

Nearly 80% of your old mobile handset is recyclable i.e. the metal and plastic, and components such the memory and circuit boards. This means that even if it’s broken it has some value, and if you have it recycled you could be helping the environment.
If it’s a simply a case of selling it for financial return you could get an idea of where you could get the most for it on a website such as You could choose to sell it through popular channels such as Mazuma or E-Bay provided the phone isn’t locked and you’re not breaking any laws.

Whatever you decide to do with it make sure that the handset is cleared of your own and your contacts’ details as well as all of your other personal details and digital property e.g. photos.

Swap It For Food, Airtime or Points!

A Tesco scheme enables you to exchange your old handset for its recycled value in vouchers for the store or airtime on their network. You can also get Tesco GreenClub points.

Donate It To Charity.

Many charities are happy to receive old handsets as donations which they can then recycle and use the money for their charity work. For example see Oxfam.

Companies with large numbers of devices such mobile handsets can choose to use a suitable commercial waste recycling company.

Take It Back To The Shop.

Many mobile phone retailers e.g. Carphone Warehouse have a recycling scheme in place whereby if you take your unwanted mobile phone in to the shop they will recycle it and make a donation to charity.

Give It To A Member of the Family Or A Friend.

You can of course pass your old handset on or give it as a gift to a member of the family or a friend.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

A business could of course choose to sell and / or recycle unwanted or old IT and comms equipment. This can bring in some funds to be used towards new equipment, or any money or equipment donated to charity could translate into some positive publicity for the business if mentioned in the website news / blog section and social media.

This story also highlights how quickly new technology hardware needs replacing as well as highlighting the many business opportunities and new market segments that have emerged and continue to feed new ventures in and around the technology sector. The IoT generally looks like creating many more opportunities over the next few years.