Don’t Just Recycle! Here’s What to Do with Old Mobile Phones

Get paid to recycle your old phone

Looking for what to do with your old mobile phone? You probably already know that you can’t just chuck it in the bin. If you take a look online, you’ll see plenty of websites giving you instructions on how to recycle your phone responsibly.

But wait! Before you ship your old device off to be recycled, have you thought about your options?

The Big Phone Store is one of the UK’s leading mobile phone recyclers – we’ve been dealing with old electronic devices since 1999! We’re here to run you through what your options are, to get the most out of your old device.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

You’ve probably heard that old phrase before – reduce, reuse, recycle. These words are actually listed in order of priority! Before recycling your old phone, you should ask yourself the following questions:

Can I re-use this device for something? Can somebody else use it? Can I sell it to be repaired, refurbished, or used for parts?

Even if your phone is broken, you could still get paid for it if it can be repaired or used for parts! So, with those questions in mind, here are our top 5 things to do with your old device!

1. Sell Your Old Phone to a Refurbisher / Trade-In Service

Let’s start with our favourite way to say goodbye to an old phone: trading it in to be refurbished!

Refurbished phones have exploded in popularity in recent years, and that means that second-hand phone sellers (like us!) are desperate to buy used handsets from you.

Refurbishers will sometimes even pay for a device that is cracked or won’t turn on, if it can be repaired or used for parts.

Not only is this a much more trustworthy process than selling to a random stranger on ebay, you’ll even be able to find great trade-in deals on cheaper phones – and you’ll know that if your phone can’t be repaired, it’ll definitely be recycled responsibly.

Click here to start trading in your phone right now!

2. Donate to a Good Cause

Donating your old mobile phone can have a significant impact on someone’s life. Various charities and organizations collect old phones for victims of domestic violence, underprivileged families, or soldiers overseas. These donations can help individuals in need stay connected with their loved ones and access important services.

3. Re-purpose!

There are plenty of things you can do with an old mobile phone. For a long time, I used an old mobile phone as a wireless webcam for my computer! You could also hold on to your device to use in case of an emergency, for example if your current handset suddenly breaks.

However, you shouldn’t just leave your old phone in the bottom of a drawer in the hopes of using it again. That’s because phone batteries (Lithium ion batteries) can degrade over time. If there’s any sign of your old phone swelling up, you need to recycle it as soon as possible to prevent it from leaking, damaging your device, and even potentially releasing toxic chemicals into your home.

4. Creative DIY Projects / Teaching Tool

If you’re a tech wizard, an old mobile phone can be an exciting thing to play around with. It can even become a great teaching tool if you have a kid who wants to learn programming! In this day and age, tinkering with an old mobile can be a rite of passage for a young person, in the same way that teenagers in years gone by would learn how to repair their own car.

5. Recycle Responsibly

If your old mobile phone is beyond repurposing or selling, recycling it is the next best option. However, it’s crucial to recycle through reputable programs that ensure harmful components are properly disposed of and valuable materials are recovered.

Before recycling your device, you should check to see if it’s worth anything. You can do this by going to our sell my phone or sell my broken phone pages, and searching for your device’s make and model.

If we can’t pay for the phone you’ve sent us, The Big Phone Store promises to recycle your device for free, in full accordance with the UK’s WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) regulations.


So, Before you discard your old mobile phone, consider these alternatives to give it a second life. Whether it’s selling, donating, repurposing, or recycling, your old device can still have plenty of value. Not only do these options benefit you and others, but they also contribute to reducing electronic waste and its impact on our environment. So, next time you upgrade, remember that there’s more to do with your old phone than just recycling it.