September 13, 2021

How to recycle your phone

Written by valeria

Tips & Tricks

A new season calls for a new phone. At least, that's what September usually signals following the annual Apple Event, where a new phone (and software version) is revealed. But before you run to the store (or to your computer) to place an order for your new upgrade, make sure you have a clean exit strategy for getting rid of your old one, because you may need a new phone, but the landfills don't need any more old ones.

Trade-in program

Most retailers/carriers will have a trade-in program, whereby you can bring in your old phone in exchange for the new one. This usually entails some sort of discount or cash bonus, and is one of the more convenient options for recycling your phone. Be sure to ask or research your preferred retailer's website and policies to find out more before making your purchase.

E-recyling sites

If you can't find an applicable trade-in program, or are upgrading to a new phone by means that don't involve carriers or retailers (from a friend or an online marketplace), there are also many donation and recycling options that are available near you, in stores like Best Buy, Staples and more, where you can simply go and drop off your phone. To see a full list of where these programs are available, click here.

Private sale

Phones aren't cheap, and if you'd like to get some of your original value back, then selling your old phone is also a great option. You can list it on places such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, and if you're worried about how to list it properly, check out Gizmodo's guide on how to find any phone's specs. Of course, I can't let you post without first giving you another piece of advice: Use a second phone number when selling online. Download the TextNow app on any phone, tablet, or even on your computer, get a local phone number, and use it for all your potential sale communication. That way, your primary number remains private, and you can keep your personal texts separate, so when you do get a text to your TextNow number, you'll know what it's about.


And lastly, we have the good ol' fashioned hand-me-down. You may know a family member or friend who is need of a phone, and can simply hand your old one to them. If they can't afford their own phone plan, you can even let them know that by downloading TextNow, they can get a free local phone number with unlimited calling and texting over WiFi, and even buy a $5 SIM card to activate that phone on our Nationwide Talk & Text plan, and stay connected wherever they go---even without WiFi---for free. After all, isn't that what family (or friends) are for?