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Switching to 5G? Here’s How to Get Rid of Your Old Phone

5G is here to stay, whether you want it to or not. In 2021, approximately 89.5 million 5G-enabled phones were shipped to homes and businesses. That’s an increase of 33.4 million. Preliminary stats for 2022 show even more 5G devices are being shipped, especially with the holidays around the corner (are your holiday decorations already up?). That’s a lot of devices and a lot of money for smartphone manufacturers.

Unfortunately, that means many older phones are showing up in landfills. That’s especially concerning for us here in Minnesota – when electronics sit in landfills, chemicals often leach into our soil and groundwater. If you’re the happy new owner of a 5G phone, or you’re expecting to get one for the holidays, do yourself a favor – don’t throw it in the garbage. It could really hurt our environment. 

Instead, try one of these safer suggestions.

1) Recycle Your 4G Phone

Is it any surprise that this was our first choice? Recycling your old 4G phones is among the best ways to dispose of them safely and legally. A lot of cell phone materials can be recycled, like metals, plastics, and glass. Even chemicals found in many smartphones can be disposed of safely instead of chunked in the trashcan like a slow, dangerous time bomb.

At Certified Recycling, we meticulously remove hazardous chemicals, strip down each recyclable material, and dispose of the leftovers in a safe, environmentally-friendly fashion. We know Mama Earth appreciates that, and we’re pretty sure she’d appreciate you helping out too. Certified Recycling Pro Tip: If you’re not bringing your 4G phones to Certified Recycling, reset your devices to their factory settings. Doing so will delete most of your private info. If you’re bringing old phones to our shop, you’re in good hands. We permanently destroy all personal data without ever turning on electronic devices.

2)  Trade-In Your 4G Phone to Your Carrier

One great way to ensure your 4G phone is recycled correctly is to trade it in for a new 5G smartphone. Take a quick drive up to your local cell phone carrier and mention that you want to trade it in for a newer phone. Usually, they’ll take a look at the model of your old phone and whether or not it’s damaged.

Depending on their trade-in policy and the condition of your phone, your carrier may provide you with a new 5G model at a discounted price. By going this route, you’ve got a chance to save money, get a new device, and have peace of mind knowing your old phone will be recycled properly.

It’s a win-win-win.

3)  Donate Your 4G Phone

If you want to give back to those less fortunate than you, consider donating your phone. While you’re at it, check your desk for any old dusty cell phones and donate them too. Just be sure they’re in decent shape.

A few organizations to consider include:

Cell Phones for Soldiers: Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans since 2004. You can find their donation bins across the country in most metropolitan areas at participating locations.

Steps to End Domestic Violence: This organization takes used cell devices that have been wiped free of data. The phones are then reformatted for domestic abuse victims, so they may dial 911 regardless of location.

Certified Recycling Pro Tip: If you live in Minnesota, consider donating to a local charity. There are plenty of great organizations to choose from in the North Star State, like Standpoint and the Hope Center.

About Certified Recycling

We’re really into recycling, but we don’t do this just for us. Recycling appliances, electronics, and furniture gets junk out of your space and keeps the planet looking and feeling good. And who doesn’t love looking and feeling good? So instead of tossing your laptop or microwave in the trash, give it to us. Why? Because we recycle 98.6% of everything that comes through our door. That’s only 1.4% away from perfection. But we’re not here to brag. We’re here to recycle.

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