We love our iPhones. That is until Apple amazes us with a shiny new model featuring 4k high definition, extra megapixel cameras, faster processors and a selection of gimmicky features the average user will love the idea of but never actually use.
Let’s face it, iPhones aren’t built to last. The tech giant would go bust if they developed such a phone. Instead, Apple has redefined their sales funnel by offering their loyal consumers the ability to upgrade to the newest iPhone every year with their choice of carrier for a low monthly payment. Now the fanboy in me is thinking ‘Oh that’s great! New tech every year!’ but then the environmentalist part of my persona chimes in asking ‘What happens to all the old iPhones?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a collection of old iPhones and pcs hidden away in a box in your garage somewhere for no other reason than lack of knowing what to do with them. This is fast becoming a significant problem worldwide as thousands of tons of e-waste ends up in landfills around the world (usually 3rd world countries) where toxic metals poison the surrounding ecosystem.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to get rid of your unwanted iPhone. Whether you want to sell it for a quick buck, donate it to charity, or repurpose it all together, a number of companies have sprung up to deal with old phones and other e-waste before it reaches the landfill.
Sell your iPhone through a cell phone buyback site
iPhone buyback services are becoming the go-to method for selling your old iPhones as they provide an instant sale price, a free shipping satchel for the phone, and in most cases will have the money in your account as soon as they receive the phone.
Selling your iPhone via a recycling trade-in scheme has become the preferred method for many consumers as they don’t have to mess around with the hassle of eBay, or deal with meeting random strangers who found you on Craigslist.
Donate your iPhone to charity
There are a number of different organizations that will happily take your old cell phone as a donation. These charities run a variety of fundraisers from raising funds for children who have lost a parent due to war, feeding malnourished children, building low-income housing, donating calling cards to soldiers abroad and an assortment of other worthy causes.
If you want to make a difference by donating your old phone locally, American Cellphone Drive is a great resource. You can simply type in your zip code and it will show you a selection of locations near you that are accepting phone donations. They also accept phones for recycling, stating that their recycling program meets all federal and state regulations and keeps harmful toxic metals out of landfill which is the main goal!
Recycle your old phones responsibly
There are places in the world such as Guiya, China, that are currently receiving millions of pounds of e-waste every year. Phones, computers, old televisions, and PC monitors are just some of the waste that ends up in these hazardous trash cities. So don’t just chuck your old devices out with the old pizzas and mountain dew bottles, there are places where you can send them to ensure your old phone doesn’t end up in landfill.
E-stewards is a fantastic recycling initiative run by the Basel Action Network (BAN). The program was created to deal with the need for stricter, cleaner standards governing e-waste. Their principals are based on the pledge by all participants not to export hazardous waste to poor communities.
The more you know!
So now you have the facts, it will be much easier for you to make an informed decision on the best way to get rid of your old iPhone and it may even change your thinking about your need to upgrade to the latest and greatest tech on a yearly basis. Remember, you can have as many iPhones as you want, but we all only have one earth.