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Mobile phone recycling

Find out everything you need to know about recycling your old mobile phone.
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recycling an old mobile phone could earn you up to £200.

Most of us have old mobile phones lurking in the back of a drawer somewhere, but not so many realise that recycling an old mobile phone could earn you up to £200.

Recycle your old mobile phones for cash

Mobile phone recycling is a great way to clear out the tech clutter in your home, and it's very environmentally friendly too.

And if you can earn some cash doing so at the same time, it's a no-brainer to recycle it rather than leaving it tucked away in a drawer for years.

Find out how to recycle your mobile and potentially turn your old mobile phone into cash.

How does mobile phone recycling work?

Mobile phone recycling services pay you money for your old mobile phone. This is usually a case of simply checking your make and model to see what they pay, and then sending them your phone to recycle. Providing the phone meets their conditions, they'll send you a cheque or transfer the money into your bank account.

You can even recycle damaged or faulty old mobile phones and still get a little cash for them, or recycle your old mobile phone accessories (such as chargers and headphones) free of charge.

As recycling old gadgets has become more and more popular, many new players have emerged offering the service. Make sure you compare mobile phone recycling companies to get the most cash for your old phone.

What happens to my old mobile phone after I recycle it?

Mobile phone recycling companies buy people's old mobiles to either reuse or recycle them.

The mobile phone industry moves fast. Hundreds of thousands of old mobile phones are rendered obsolete every year as millions of people upgrade to newer, better models with the latest features.

When the mobile phone recycling company gets your old mobile, it is either sent to be reused, refurbished, or it is taken apart and reprocessed so any useful parts and components can be salvaged and used again.

This helps to cut the amount of waste going to landfill sites each year and reduces the environmental damage associated with making components for new mobile phones.

Mobile phone networks'recycling schemes

Learn about each of the main mobile networks' phone recycling schemes:


O2's scheme is called O2 Recycle. This operates much like third-party recycling schemes, with an online checker at its heart so you can ascertain how much your mobile is worth and even get same-day payment when your handset is processed.

O2 feeds the profits it makes from O2 Recycle into its Think Big initiative, which aims to improve the lives of young people.

Visit O2 Recycle here.


EE's similar Recycle and Reward scheme is also highly rated and lets you choose between a cheque or bank transfer. The umbrella brand's scheme accepts handsets irrespective of the network they're tied to.

Recycle your old phone with EE.


Vodafone's Buyback scheme features the option to swap your handset for cash, or Argos or Debenhams vouchers. Once again same-day payments are available and BuyBack will accept phones tied to other networks.

Visit Vodafone's website to trade in your old phone.


Three will recycle old mobiles free of charge, but does not offer a cashback scheme. The devices are tested and refurbished and sent to be reused in countries in the developing world.

Recycle your old mobile phone with Three

Mobile phone manufacturers recycling schemes

In some cases you can even take your phone directly back to the makers for a handy trade in on a new device.

Apple have a buyback program in place where you can trade in an old iPhone to get money off a new one. They have a useful list that gives estimates on how much your old phone is worth. You don’t have to be trading in last year’s model either, Apple will take older iPhones off your hands too.

Check out how much you can trade in your old iPhone here

Most of us have old mobile phones lurking in the back of a drawer somewhere. If you do and it works, it could be a real lifeline to someone else. There are 1.9 million households in the UK that don’t have internet access and a smartphone could help connect them with loved ones and essential online services.

Find out how you can donate your spare smartphone through environmental charity Hubbub.

Tech recycling

Check here to see if any of your old gadgets or appliances can be recycled:

What appliances are you going to recycle now?


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