July 4, 2022

There are several things that you can do with a device that you’re no longer using. Whether you donate, sell, or recycle your phone, just about anything is better than throwing a smartphone and its hazardous materials in the trash. In this article, you’ll find some of our top suggestions for repurposing your old Android phone, such as how to recycle or donate it, followed by steps and guidelines on how to carry out those suggestions.

Why can’t I just throw my phone away?

We create tens of millions of tons of e-waste — waste from electronic devices — every year, and just dumping it in the trash is the worst possible thing you could do with it. There are two types of materials in smartphones and other e-waste that require special disposal processes:

  • Precious materials like rare metals are hard to mine, refine, and use in electronics. We must reclaim as many of these materials from a device at the end of its lifetime as possible so that manufacturers can minimize the new mining of these materials.
  • Hazardous materials are in every single smartphone, tablet, and wearable, especially in the batteries. Putting these materials into a landfill can actually damage the environment — and putting them in an incinerator is even worse.