Dear Amy: I just got a new cellphone, but I don’t know what to do with my old one. Can it be reused or recycled? — Josh, Milwaukee, Wis.
Dear Josh: There are a lot of ways that your old cellphone can find new life. You can sell it, recycle it, or even donate it to a good cause. Many cellphone companies offer trade-in programs and will buy back or recycle your old phone.
If you would like to donate your old phone, 911 Cell Phone Bank, 911cellphonebank.org, provides emergency cellphones to the elderly and others in need. Similarly, you can give your phone to a grandparent or someone else you know who needs an emergency phone, because cellphones are able to call 911 even without a service plan. Another option is Cell Phones for Soldiers, cellphonesforsoldiers.com. They will sell or recycle your old phone and use the proceeds to give active duty military members and veterans communication time, free of cost.
Whether you choose to sell, recycle or donate your phone, be sure to erase all of your personal data first. For more information on safely disposing of your old cellphone, visit ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt044.shtm.
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