MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


4 things you can do with your old cell phones and devices

How to recycle, sell, repair, or repurpose unwanted electronics.
Cell phone
Posted at 4:00 AM, Apr 17, 2023

As you're doing some spring cleaning, you may stumble on an outdated laptop at the bottom of the closet or some old phones stashed in a junk drawer.

But instead of tossing them in the trash, there are better options for those old devices and some could even get you some money.

Friends Carol Lawrence and Susan Sipple recently updated their smartphones.

"I have five phones; flip phones, too!" Sipple said.

Lawrence said her stash has been even worse.

"It sits there. It collects dust, and then, you add another and another," she said. "And when you turn around, you have seven phones, like I did."

What can you do with those old phones?

It's what Alex Hausfeld of uBreakiFix By Asurion refers to as the "tech graveyard."

"Usually, it's either a shoe box, closet, or junk drawer," he said.

Hausfeld says the last thing to do with old devices is to toss them in the trash.

"That's because of the harmful chemicals that can be released into the environment, whether it's burned or goes into a landfill," he said.

Instead, he says to repurpose old devices.

An example, he says, is using old smartphones as security cameras.

"Baby monitors are another one," he said.

Hausfeld says you can make anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars if you sell a device at one of many reselling sites online. Just make sure it's wiped clean.

"Be sure all of your personal information is off of it," he suggested.

Recycle old tech

Hausfeld manages a uBreakiFix by Asurion store that partners with Samsung to help customers recycle tech for free.

"We will recycle anything from phones to old chargers, old cables, to batteries," said Mark Williams, head of customer care with Samsung.

Williams says parts are reused when possible or disposed of properly.

When a device breaks down, Williams suggests you repair it rather than replace it.

"You can keep your device a year or two longer by just getting it fixed, and it'll perform like it did when you first got it," he said.

One last option for old devices: help others.

Carol Lawrence and Susan Sipple suggest you consider donating them. The pair donated their devices to help seniors and victims of domestic violence.

"If it can help somebody else, then that's what we should do," Lawrence said.

So, recycle, sell, repair, or repurpose; that way, you don't waste your money.


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