Talking Trash: How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Phones and Save the Planet

Let’s talk trash for a minute.

Specifically, let’s talk about what happens when you have mobile-electronic waste—old cell phones, smartphones, tablets, mp3 players, etc.—piling up in your junk drawer or attic. When you don’t use it anymore, or if it’s broken, it’s tempting to want to throw it right in the trash.  

But how you get rid of electronic waste matters, even if it’s as small as an iPod Nano (remember those?!).

Electronic waste can be extremely harmful to the environment if it ends up in a landfill. Anyone who’s had a mobile phone for longer than a few years knows they’re not built to last a lifetime, yet our devices are made with products that are anything but disposable. Our old devices may include things like cadmium, mercury, and lead as well as lithium batteries and rare-earth minerals, plus, they’re cased in plastic—all things that can cause damage to water supplies and ecosystems.

Recycling your mobile e-waste with an organization like Cell Phones For Soldiers can keep those harmful materials out of the environment and benefit our troops and soldiers at the same time. Our recycling partner recycles each device securely, identifying which components may be resold for reuse (which helps cut the demand for mining in vulnerable places), and providing revenue for us to help service members communicate with home or support veterans in need. To date, we’ve stopped more than 20 million devices from entering landfills!

The World Economic Forum has released dire statistics on the rising problem of e-waste around the world. The United States has managed to reduce its waste of electronics, but there’s still a lot of work to do; only about 35 percent of e-waste is recycled. Around the world, the amount of e-waste has become a crisis. “Consumers can’t resist faster products with more storage and better cameras, but constant upgrades have created a growing global waste challenge. In 2019 alone, people discarded 53 million metric tons of electronic waste.”

The next time you upgrade your devices, make sure to donate your old ones to Cell Phones For Soldiers, where your (electronic) trash can have new life benefiting our nation’s heroes.

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Talking Trash: How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Phones and Save the Planet

Stay Updated On News From The Charity

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Self-Paid Label

Thank you for taking the extra step to cover shipping costs for your donated devices! Not only is your device donation tax-deductible, so are the shipping costs. 

Simply click and print this preaddressed label and follow the shipping instructions below:

1. Count the number of donated phones for your records.

2. Place the phones flat across the bottom of the box and layer them with newspaper or bubblewrap to avoid damage.

3. Keep batteries attached to phones. If there is no battery, place tape over terminal ends.

4. Due to federal shipping regulations, you must print a battery warning label for each package. Click here to print. Affix one label to the outside of each box. 

5. You must affix (USPS) or a prepay waybill (UPS, FedEx, DHL) in order for your package to reach us.

5. You will not receive an e-mail confirmation when your package arrives. Click here to print a donation receipt.