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Cell Phone Recycling Guide

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Destination Matters

If you want to be sure your phone or the proceeds from it goes directly to a specific charity, whether it's one a carrier already sponsors or not, you can donate your phone to the Donate a Phone program or to the two primary phone recyclers in America, Collective Good and ReCellular. Nearly every charity that accepts cell phone donations uses one of these two entities, and between the two there are a large number of worthwhile causes to choose from.

ReCellular refurbishes phones for resale in Latin America, but GSM is sorely under-represented there (except for in Brazil). So if you're donating a GSM phone, especially a triband one, please check to see if Collective Good has a charity you'd like to support. They send phones to Eastern Europe and India as well, where GSM 900/1800 is the primary cellular protocol.

Donate a Phone

If you want to be sure your phone is given to a domestic violence victim as a lifeline, The Wireless Foundation offers you the option to directly contribute your phone to the Call to Protect program. There are collection centers around the US, or you can mail your phone, charger and spare batteries directly to the organization.

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Collective Good

Collective Good simplifies donating your phone to a specific charity by providing a form and shipping container, available online or at your local Staples store. Simply check off a charity, put your phone, charger and accessories in the mail, and you'll receive a charitable donation form for your tax deduction.


ReCellular allows the location where you drop off your phone, whether it be a carrier store or other retail establishment, to choose where the proceeds from your phone are donated. Their public website, Wireless Recycling, has a list of locations and which charity donations at that location will support. If there is no nearby location for your charity, you can send your phone directly to ReCellular in order to support that cause.

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