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We change our phones every 2 years on average, but the plastics, metals and electronics in mobile phones take thousands of years to decompose properly if sent to landfill, and can be toxic to the environment.
Instead, your phone may be worth up to £100 which you can donate to the Against Malaria Foundation.
Step 1. Check your phone's model number and condition.
Step 2. Find the company below that will pay you the most cash for it.
Step 3. Use their Freepost address to post free-of-charge.
By selling your phone directly and donating the cash you will raise much more for charity by cutting out any middlemen or admin costs.
And this way you can donate 25% extra free with Gift Aid also!
If your phone does not have a commercial value — or you do not want to sell it — you can use the alternative recycling options below to prevent your phone going to landfill.
» Model Number: e.g. iPhone 6S Plus
» If there are several versions of the same phone, they may have different hard drive capacities (e.g. 8GB, 16GB etc)
» Do you have the battery and charger?
» Any problems?
Phones with scratches, dents, cracks and obvious superficial problems are normally considered 'broken', and will get a reduced price.
If your phone does not power on / hold charge, or has water damage, you are unlikely to get anything for it and it should be considered scrap.
This web site searches over 30 phone recycling companies to get you the best price for your handset.
It is important to check the grading criteria of the company you choose to sell your phone to — they differ slightly.
You get free postage & some will return your phone free if they dispute the condition of your phone.
You can see the ratings associated with each company based on previous users.
Once you've checked your phone at Compare&Recycle, you may be able to get a much better price from CeX.
Do this only if it's in good cosmetic condition and fully working, and includes the battery and charger.
These stores on the high street buy electronics, games and films. You can take your phone in (with the accessories) and get a free appraisal then and there.
Please call ahead to check your nearest store is open before you decide to visit, as COVID-19 rules differ.
If it's still working, you can keep your old one as a handy backup in case you drop the shiny new one in the bath; or keep it as a phone to use when abroad, or at a muddy festival...?
Larger chains of charity shops collect mobile phones for recycling, but they only get a percentage of the value you would be offered directly.
This is only a good option if your phone has less than £5 commercial value as they normally get only a couple of £s for any phone regardless of condition.
This is a poor option if your phone is worth over £5 as they will raise much less money than you would if you sold it directly and donated the cash.
Call ahead to check your intended store is open during the COVID-19 crisis, and that they take mobile phones.
You can take scrap phones to any council 'civic amenity' site that recycles small electricals, as mobile phones are considered regulated waste electronics.
You can also take other small electrical items (cables, accessories, toasters, tablets).
Or take them to any Currys / PC World store — they take small electricals for recycling free — you don't even need to be a customer!
Or, if your council allows you to include small electricals in a roadside collection then this is also a good option.
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