Most of us know when to discard, recycle, or compost
the items we're parting with, but it seems that many
of us are at a loss as to how to dispose properly of
our cell phones when we no longer need them. If you
are unsure of how to get rid of an old phone, this article
will guide you through the process.
Before actually disposing of your phone, it is important
to remove your information from it, as phones tend to
allow access to sensitive, personal information. The
easiest way to rid your phone of this information is
to perform a factory reset. If you wish to transfer
information from the old device to your new phone, simply
do so before clearing the old one.
To ensure your safety, you should next remove your
SIM and SD cards, as these cards also store personal
information that a factory reset will not erase. You
may also wish to keep your SIM card so that you can
retain your old phone number by having the card transferred
into your new device. It is best to check your phone
before disposing of it to ensure that you were successful
in removing all of your information from it.
Once your phone has been rid of personal information,
you may now safely dispose of it. There are multiple
ways this can be done. If your phone is in good condition
and functions well, you may wish to donate it. You may
donate your phone to someone less fortunate through
a charity organization that accepts phones, or you may
donate it to an organization that recycles cell phones
and uses the resulting funds to benefit people in need.
If your phone is not in good enough condition to donate,
do not simply throw it in the trash. Phones contain
toxic chemicals that, when a phone is placed in a landfill,
may ultimately leach into groundwater and poison the
water in surrounding areas. Discarding of phones with
the garbage also poses a danger to workers who crush
trash. Instead, it is best to recycle your phone. Many
mobile phone vendors or technology-centered companies
offer programs through which you can recycle your phone;
use a search engine to find one near you.
If recycling your phone is not an option, you may discard
it. If you must throw away your phone, it is important
to do so in a safe, environmentally conscious way. You
may leave your phone in a bin designated specifically
to the safe and green disposal of phones or other electronics,
which can often be found at technology stores. If you
have difficulties locating such a receptacle, contact
your local health and sanitation agencies and inquire
about their preferred means of discarding electronics.
About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage,
Inc. a software company for communication software solutions.