How to Help the Environment and Get Paid!

Cell Phone Recycling Facts & Statistics

Why You Need to Recycle Cell Phones


Discarded Cell Phones Damage the Environment

When cell phones are improperly disposed of and end up in landfills it can cause damaging effects to the environment and our health. Cell phones contain harmful toxins including lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine and bromine. If disposed of in landfills these toxins can be absorbed into the air, ground and water supply and over time cause harmful effects to the ecosystem and the environment. This creates very serious potential threats to the health of animals, humans and the wider environment so it's important we do something about it.

With over 140 million phones disposed of every year in the US it’s incredibly important that we responsibly recycle our phones properly to prevent them ending up in landfill and causing damage to the environment. Please read on to learn how to recycle your old phones properly...

More Phones Than Humans!

Mobile phones are taking over the planet. There are now more mobile phones than people walking the planet. Based on data tracking SIM card use there are currently around 8.97 billion mobile phones in the world and 7.7 billion humans - that’s one billion more phones than humans! Plus the growth rate of mobile devices is five times greater than that of the human race. That’s a lot of phones to recycle! 1

350,000 phones are discarded every day in the US!

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are around 350,000 cell phones thrown away every day in the US! This is a staggering figure, if you do the math, this equates to over 125 million cell phones discarded every year. This is significantly adding to the growing cell phone e-waste problem. 2

Only 15% of Cell Phones are Recycled

Cell Phones are NOT waste. Over 95% of the cell phones that are discarded or disposed of can actually be reused and resold and the remaining amount can be recycled for parts and materials (see below for more information). In essence, almost 100% of cell phones can actually be reused or recycled. Yet disappointingly, only circa 15% of cell phones are currently recycled in the US! 3

1.8 Billion Cell Phones are Sold Every Year

According to market researcher Gartner, a whopping one and a half billion cell phones are being sold each year. Mobile Phone shipments are anticipated to reach 1.8 billion units in 2019. This gives rise to even more electronics waste, which is expected to grow by 8% year on year. 4

There is Value in Old Phones

For every one million cell phones recycled as a nation we can salvage 20,000 lbs of copper, 20 lbs of palladium, 550 lbs of silver, and 50 lbs of gold. This can all be used in other products and services rather than being thrown in landfill. Americans are throwing out $60 million dollars in gold and silver per year. 5

Recycling Helps Make the Price of Technology Accessible to Everyone

When you recycle your phone through a proper cell phone recycling company over 95% of phones are refurbished and resold on to new owners. As the prices of the latest phones continues to go up and up there are many consumers worldwide that choose to buy a Pre-owned or Refurbished Phone instead of a new one. This has created a huge global demand for used phones. By recycling your phone not only is this helping the environment by keeping it out of landfill, it is also helping others by helping supply the global demand for pre-owned phones, which in turn also helps the environment because it means less new phones have to be manufactured.

As well as getting resold domestically in the US, recycled cell phones are also exported internationally to other countries where there is a big demand for pre-owned phones such as China, South America, India and Africa. In some developing countries there is no fixed line telecommunication system so people rely on mobile phones as their sole means of communication and access to the internet. In such countries where there are people that can’t afford new phones, cell phone recycling helps supply phones at affordable prices thus helping make technology and access to the internet accessible to everyone.

Recycling Extends the Lifecycle of a Phone to 9 Years

Our research shows that on average a phone recycled through SellCell gets resold 4.5 times and its lifecycle spans an incredible 9 years before it finally reaches the end of its useful life and is then recycled for parts and materials. With Americans on average keeping their phone for 23 months before changing it this means recycling extends the lifecycle of a typical phone by almost 5 times. In this way Cell Phone Recycling is genuinely helping the environment

Protects Natural Resources

According to the EPA, if we recycle cell phones we can preserve natural resources, conserve energy and reduce pollution. Using recycled materials means less natural resources have to be used. This conserves natural resources and reduces the environmental impact of mining and extracting natural resources

Recycling Cell Phones Saves Energy

There are over 100 million phones that are not recycled per year. If Americans recycled these 100 million phones it would save enough energy to power over 370,000 homes in the U.S. for one whole year. 6

Reduces Worker Exploitation

Some of the materials that are inside phones are removed from the earth through mining. Cobalt is a mineral that is found inside the batteries of Smartphones and is removed from the ground using child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been reported that young children are mining cobalt with their hands, in very dangerous environments. By reusing and recycling mobile phones we are reducing the need to aggressively mine for these materials and thereby reducing worker exploitation.

Reduces Damaging Impact on Marine Life & Animals

Phones that end up in landfills or dumped in waterways can affect marine life, as the toxic materials in the devices can over time seep into the environment and contaminate the groundwater. The toxins can also be absorbed into the atmosphere and re-appear as acid rain, which has huge effects on natural habitats and animals.

There have been many reports that gorillas are also being massacred to the point of extinction as miners aggressively dig for an ore called coltan that is used in cell phones. By recycling phones these minerals can be reused again and fundamentally reduce the impact on animals and the greater environment.


How Can Cell Phone Recycling Benefit You?


Cell Phone Recycling at SellCell


We’ve seen how cell phone recycling can benefit the environment but here’s how it can also benefit you:


Make Some Cash

When you recycle your phone not only are you helping the environment but you can also get cash for your old phone! It really is Win-Win!

Most people are very surprised at just how much they can get for their old phone. Phones are expensive items so when you come to recycle your old phone many models are still worth a lot of money. To make sure you get the most cash when you recycle your phone it’s best to check prices from various different cell phone recycling companies as the prices vary significantly. To save you the time and hassle of this SellCell is a cell phone recycling price comparison site. We compare prices from all the leading cell phone buyers in the US to get you the guaranteed most cash for your old phone. Rest assured, all of SellCell’s buyers recycle mobile phones in an environmentally friendly manner.

Want to find out how much your cell phone is worth? Use the search box above to get an instant price for your old cell


Declutter Your Home

1 in 4 Americans admit to having a number of old phones gathering dust in their drawers and cupboards. Why not look to make some space by selling these old devices onto a business like SellCell. Not only will you make money you will be responsibly recycling the device to benefit the environment and make some much needed room in your home!


Cell Phone Recycling - Why Use SellCell?

The above clearly shows how the improper disposal of mobile phones can be damaging to the environment. It is therefore critically important that cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices are recycled with reputable recycling companies.

We can assure you that all of the buyback companies on SellCell recycle cell phones and other electronic devices in an environmentally friendly way. All adhere to strict environmental policies so you can rest assured that any cell phone or other device you recycle through SellCell will be recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

  • SellCell only adds recyclers that have been vetted to ensure that they comply with best practice environmental policies and recycle phones and electronic goods in an environmentally friendly manner
  • SellCell is a green company and is committed to helping reduce electronic waste

So when using SellCell, you can rest assured that you are getting the best price for your phone and doing your bit for the environment!

Trading in old electronics is important for the environment. To help you with the process we recommend the best places to trade in your old electronics here. We only recommend safe and reputable buyers.


Cell Phone Recycling Infographic - What Happens to Your Phone When You Recycle it


Cell Phone Recycling Infographic - What Happens to Your Phone When You Recycle it


What is E-Waste (Electronic Waste)?


E-Waste - electronic waste in a landfill site

E-Waste or Electronic Waste is generated when an electronic item is no longer deemed useful and is disposed of. E-Waste is one of the fastest waste growth streams fueled by continuous technology improvements as people upgrade their electronic items more frequently than ever. As well as mobile phones; computers, televisions, stereos, DVD players, copiers, etc. also fall into the bracket of E-Waste

Electronic Waste is a growing problem in the United States, so it is extremely important to think of where and how these products can be reused, refurbished or recycled. Tossing them in a landfill is dangerous as some electronics contain hazardous materials that can contaminate soil and air. Businesses and consumers must look at how they safely dispose of obsolete or unwanted electronic products.


E-Waste Facts & Statistics

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that only 12.5% of electronics waste is currently being recycled or refurbished and only 30% of this is done so in a best practice way. 7
  • 41.8 million tons of electronic waste was generated across the globe in 2014. One quarter of that figure or 9.3 million metric tonnes is made up of smaller, personal electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. 8
  • The USA is now producing more e-waste every year than any country across the globe. Americans throw away 9.4 millions tons of electronic waste every year. 9
  • The United Nations have stated that 20-50 metric tons of e-waste is disposed of every year. 10
  • Every day, 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers are disposed of either by recycling or disposing of them in landfill. 11
  • A huge 80% of the electronic waste that is generated in the US is exported to regions in Asia. 12
  • The global e-waste mass has doubled in the last 9 years and the yearly problem has now hit major highs at nearly 50 million tonnes per year. It is predicted that by 2021 the annual accumulation will be 57 millions tons. 13
  • Electronic Waste already at a high level is expected to continue growing by 8% per annum globally. 14

It is clear that E-Waste is a mounting environmental issue across the world for all people. We all have a responsibility to dispose of our electronic devices in an environmentally friendly manner.


Why use SellCell to Recycle Your Electronics?

SellCell doesn’t just recycle phones but also recycles tablets, e-readers, laptops, smartwatches, games consoles and lots of other electronic devices. As with phones it is incredibly important that the buyback company you pick to recycle your old electronics will recycle the items in an environmentally friendly way.

SellCell only lists buyers that adhere to strict environmental standards and in every case uphold the fight to reduce electronics waste across America and the world. So you have peace of mind that not only will you get the best price when you trade-in your old phone, but are doing your bit for the environment.


Electronic waste at a landfill site


Cell Phone Recycle - Why Should I Use SellCell?

USA’s No. 1 Cell Phone Recycling Price Comparison Site

SellCell is the No. 1 price comparison site in the US for recycling used phones, tablets and other electronics. Millions of happy customers have successfully recycled their tech via SellCell for the most cash, safe in the knowledge that their old device will be recycled to the highest environmental standards. So if you’re looking to sell your old phone, you are in safe hands!

Totally Free and Impartial

SellCell is completely free and totally impartial. We show you the best prices for your device from leading recyclers along with independently verified customer reviews to help you make the right decision

Best Price Guarantee

SellCell compares prices from all the different recycling companies out there that specialize in buying phones to help get you the most cash and our Best Price Guarantee gives you peace of mind that if you find a better price elsewhere then we’ll pay you double the difference. Not only will you get the most cash you can feel reassured that your device will be safely recycled, so you are doing your bit for the environment!

Saves You Time and Hassle

To get the most cash when you recycle your old phone you need to shop around as the prices from different recycling companies varies a lot. SellCell saves you the time and hassle of shopping around by instantly comparing prices from all the leading recyclers in one place. Not only that, all of our Buyers are ‘green’ and recycle your device in an environmentally friendly way!

Recycle Your Phone & Other Gadgets at SellCell.com. Help the Environment and Earn $$$

Where can I recycle my cell phone?

SellCell is the best place to recycle your old cell phone. SellCell is the USA's No 1 price comparison site for recycling your phone and other electronics. We feature all of the biggest recyclers in the US and compare all of their prices by phone model to ensure that you get the best price for your old device. SellCell only compare recyclers that handle, process and recycle devices in an environmentally friendly manner. This means that not only are you guaranteed to get the very best price for all your tech with SellCell, but you can be assured that your device will be recycled properly.

How do I recycle my cell phone?

It is really simple to recycle your old cell phone with SellCell. Just enter the model of the device in the search box above to find your device. Our price comparison technology will instantly present you with a list of all the prices from the best electronics recyclers in the US. Select the recycler that you would like to sell your device to. The buyer will then send you out shipping instructions. You simply send your cell phone to them and wait to be promptly paid out. Rest assured, your device will be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

Cell phone recycling near me

There might be a better option than using a local cell phone recycling service near you. Check out the benefits of using SellCell instead:

We guarantee we will get you more than a Local Recycler!
There are many local places where you can sell your old phone, but these companies will not always offer you the best price for your old device. By recycling your device with SellCell you can always be assured that you will get the best price for your old device through our Best Price Guarantee. We also guarantee that your device will be recycled properly and not go into landfill. Local sellers often will not give you the best price when trading in your old device and can offer, in some cases, hundreds of dollars less for your old smartphone.

Convenient, Nationwide Free Shipping
You’re probably looking for a local company near you because of convenience. But using SellCell you can probably get a better deal and it is also super convenient. All the recyclers / buyers on our site offer a convenient, nationwide free shipping service. All you need to do is drop your device to be recycled into the free shipping pack that is sent out to you. Easy!

Reassurance you are Dealing with a Recognised National Brand
With SellCell you also have the reassurance of dealing with a brand that is nationally recognised and only works with the biggest buyers in the US. We have helped millions of people safely recycle their old devices for the best price.

View Multiple Recyclers in Seconds!
With SellCell you can view all of the US’s most reputable recyclers in one place rather than having to call / visit lots of different local recyclers. We offer a hassle free, convenient way of selling your old phone with recyclers that have been vetted by us.

SellCell is the USA's favourite choice for recycling your old electronics.

Can I recycle a broken cell phone?

Yes, you can recycle a broken cell phone with SellCell. There is a huge demand for broken cell phones in the US. This is because broken cell phones can be repaired by the recycler and sold on again as a ‘refurbished’ device. The typical repairs on a broken device are usually the replacement of a smashed screen, a new battery, new buttons and rear cases. Refurbishing a broken device is really important in reducing the stockpile of electronic waste in the US, by ensuring that the device is used again. There is also more value than you think in a broken or faulty phone. To check the value of your phone amongst the leading recyclers in the US, all you have to do is enter the phone model above and change the condition of the device to broken/ faulty. In seconds you can find out how much cash you will get for your broken phone.

Can I also recycle tablets and other electronics?

Yes, you can recycle all types of electronics on SellCell such as tablets, laptops, games consoles, smartwatches, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, Macbooks, Kindles, Nintendo Switch and much more. As the US’s largest price comparison site for old tech there is no better place in the US than SellCell to recycle your tablets and other electronics.

What should I do with my cell phone before recycling?

So you are ready to recycle your phone through SellCell. There are just a few things that you can do to get your phone ready prior to sending off to your recycler:

  1. Give your phone a clean. Your phone can get dirty quickly - so make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible by removing any surface dirt and hand prints. With ladies there is often a makeup residue that could do with being wiped off to. To do this you are best just to wipe the phone with a soft microfiber cloth or cotton pad. Do not use anything that could scratch the phone. Also try to avoid using liquids or windolene as if this runs into the charging port it can lead to liquid damage.
  2. Backup your device. You should also look to ensure that you have saved all of the data you want from your device. This can include messages, photos and videos. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for backing up your device. With an iPhone, go into settings, then find iCloud and then back up. With Android again find settings and head for the google sync option.
  3. Reset your phone. Once you have saved the data, now is the time to look at resetting it back to its original settings. Again for both iPhone and Samsung to reset your phone you just head over to the settings menu and navigate to Reset.
  4. Remove your SIM / Memory card/ SD Card. Don’t forget to take this out before sending the device to your chosen Buyer.
  5. Take photographs of your phone. Take photographs of your device that are date stamped to show the condition of it. You can use this to ensure it arrives in the same condition at the recyclers. For peace of mind you can borrow another phone and take a video of your assessments.

Corporate Cell Phone Recycling

Electronic waste has become a really important matter on the corporate agenda now. With businesses using a huge amount of electronic items to connect with customers, suppliers and other employees the mass of recycling that is created is now at an all time high, so corporate cell phone & electronics recycling is important. Companies are now much more interested in environmental concerns around reduction of electronic waste, reduction of emissions and carbon footprints. In addition to this electronics buyers should also be aware that by selling old tech they can make a lot of money that can be put back into the company budget.

There are still a huge percentage of businesses that do not know what to do with redundant tech and store devices in the company IT cupboard gathering dust. This is now a thing of the past as Buyers and IT managers can help their companies generate vast amounts of cash by recycling their old tech on SellCell.com. The corporate cell phone recycling market offers huge opportunities for businesses to make money and be environmentally friendly.

SellCell are specialists in corporate cell phone recycling and have many blue chip clients that regularly use their services to ensure that they are getting the best price for their old tech. SellCell have a bank of the biggest bulk recyclers in the US to choose from and can access the needs of the company ensuring that they get a great price for old phones, tablets and tech. If your business has 25 plus old devices and would like to ensure that these are recycled safely and you get the best valuation for then, just head over to our Corporate Cell Recycling Page to learn more!

SellCell - the Best Place to Recycle Your Phone

Find out how much your phone is worth INSTANTLY!