Recycle your mobile phone and make money

by timgraphics

Get cash for cell phones

Do you need to sell your mobile phone?

Help the environment and load your wallet!

Could it be that you are lusting after the latest make of smartphone? Perhaps you intend to treat yourself, or maybe you've been dropping hints to your loved ones about what you would like for your birthday.

If you're lucky and get hold of your heart's desire, then you may be looking to dispose of your old mobile phone. Or perhaps even getting some much needed cash for a well loved but out of date mobile.

It's worth spending a little time doing some research about the process and why you should be doing it.

Harmful substances in mobile phones

Just throwing it away poisons the planet

If your old mobile phone ends up in landfill, it will soon degrade and could release a number of poisons into the soil or even into the water supply. Some of the most toxic products are:

Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)

BFRs are added to plastics to prevent fire damage. They are found in circuit boards and in a phones plastic casing. They can "bleed" from the discarded plastic and contaminate the environment where they remain extremely persistant. Breast milk samples from North American women contained 40 times the amount of these chemicals than in Swedish women. (Source: BFRs disrupt thyroid hormone balance and may impair neuro development.


Cadmium is found in nickel-cadmium batteries in older mobile phones and other cordless devices. It is now banned under the RoHS Directive. Long-term exposure to low levels of cadmium in air, food, or water leads to a buildup of cadmium in the kidneys and possible kidney disease. Other long-term effects are fragile bones and damage to the lungs.


Lead is also now banned from the manufacture of electronic equipment but will be found in phones made before July 2006. It is highly toxic and children are most vulnerable.


These chemicals are used to soften plastics. There has been much controversy and debate about whether the levels ingested by humans come anywhere near the levels that could cause health problems. However, Greenpeace campaigned hard for their removal from childrens' toys.


Polyvinyl chloride is widely used in products from shower curtains to guttering to furniture... and mobile phones. When it burns, toxic hydrogen chloride gas and dioxins are released.

The secret life of the cell phone

Some recycling companies to look at

UK companies


US companies



Going green with your new phone

Some major mobile phone manufacturers are producing products which are free of brominated fire retardants or PVC. Many also try to ensure that production workers are treated fairly and that they have recycling schemes.

Both Greenpeace and The Good Guide rate Nokia as the best in these fields. The top rated green phone at present, according to the Good Guide, is the Nokia C6.

Nokia C6 cell phone

Click the image for the best deal on the Nokia C6
Nokia C6 Unlocked GSM Phone with Easy E-mail Setup, Side-Sliding To...
Updated: 12/18/2011, timgraphics
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