How to recycle your old mobile phone

Upgrading to a new mobile phone is a very common occurrence these days. But what to do with your old device? Recycling your mobile phone is one option that is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures that valuable materials are repurposed to good use.

Picking up a shiny new phone is one of the modern world’s little pleasures. Firing it up for the first time, checking out all the new features. It’s like getting a new toy when you were younger.

If you’re anything like me, you then toss your old phone into a drawer somewhere to never be thought of again. Not only is this a big waste of space, but we all know that eventually one day it’s going to be sent to landfill, where it will break down in the soil and become an environmental hazard.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Phone recycling is most definitely a thing, and you’ve got a number of different options to choose from.

Drop it off at a collection point

This is the easiest option. Many major electronic retailers, mobile service providers, and local councils in Australia have designated collection points for mobile phone recycling. These drop-off locations make the process convenient for users. Simply find the nearest collection point, deposit your old phone, and let the professionals take care of the recycling process.

Mail-in programs

Several organisations offer mail-in programs for mobile phone recycling. Companies like MobileMuster provide prepaid envelopes for you to send in your old devices. This option is particularly useful for those who may not have easy access to physical collection points.

Remember to erase your data before sending it off, and you’re contributing to a sustainable solution from the comfort of your home.

Retailer trade-in programs

Major mobile phone retailers often run trade-in programs where you can exchange your old device for a discount on your new purchase. This not only helps you save money but also ensures that your old phone is responsibly recycled by the retailer.

What to do with your data before recycling

Before parting ways with your old mobile phone, it’s crucial to safeguard your personal information. Follow these steps to ensure your data is securely erased.

Back up your data

First step before wiping your phone is to make sure to back up any important data like contacts, photos, and messages. This ensures you don’t lose anything valuable during the process.

Log out and disconnect all accounts

Ensure that you log out of all accounts, such as Google or Apple, and disconnect your phone from any associated services to prevent unauthorised access.

Perform a factory reset

After backing up your data, access your phone’s settings and perform a factory reset. This action will erase all your data and restore the device to its original state. Refer to your phone’s user manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.

Remove SIM and memory cards

You’ve probably moved your SIM card to your new phone, but if you have a new SIM make sure to take out the old one and any external memory cards. These items contain personal information.

What do you do with your old mobile phones? Have you ever recycled one? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Five tips for organising photos on your phone

Written by Brad Lockyer

Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.

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  1. Don’t be too fast to dispose of your old phone, there is a number of good uses for it. If you’re thinking of going overseas, hold onto your old phone to have a separate device for a foreign sim card.
    We have an old phone left in the car with a $10-$15 a year sim card in it as an emergency in case of forgetting our personal phones. On all of those times we are asked to provide our phone number (e.g. on forms, online purchases etc) but we know they will never phone us, we give them the car phone number. We get virtually no scam calls on our personal phones but loads of scam and unknown messages on the spare phone.

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