Recycle your mobile phone for cash with Sell My Mobile!

Filed in Blog by on November 11, 2009 19 Comments
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Mrs Green recycles her mobile phones - earning cash and saving the landfill

Mrs Green recycles her mobile phones - earning cash and saving the landfill

You might remember we took on a large decluttering project here at zero waste towers.

I decided on a change of use for one our rooms and wanted a dedicated playroom / class room for Little Miss Green.

At the same time Grandma Green was having a declutter of her own, so we decided to take on some of her old furniture.

Clearing out a room is a scary task; it means sorting through cupboards and drawers that you would rather not look in to.

Thankfully there were not too many frightening things lurking at the back of shelves heading for landfill, but we did find a couple of museum-worthy mobile phones.

Our ‘new room’ requires not just a change of use, but some major work; we need to raise the floor, put in underfloor heating or an air to air heat pump and replace the back door and window – not the cheapest of weekend projects!

So I’ve started my ‘change of room use’ fund. I decided to gather my resources and see what I could do to raise some cash.

So far I’ve shifted a load of books on Amazon and whilst browsing the internet, came upon “Sell My Mobile“. This was just what I was looking for.
With time of the essence, I really didn’t have time to find the best price for our old mobiles. Sell My Mobile does all the work for you with its independent and impartial mobile phone recycling price comparison. They compare ALL of the UK’s leading mobile phone buyers so you can get you the most money for your old mobile just by visiting one site.

They price check all makes and models on a daily basis, so you know you will get the best and most up-to-date price! And using the site couldn’t be easier. You simply enter the make and model of your phone and get a list of merchants who will buy your phone. Click on the best price and tell them how you want to receive your payment – easy peasy.

Worldwide, 1.3 billion people own a mobile phone; most of which end up in the landfill. It is estimated that less than 4% of all unused mobile phones in the UK are currently recycled and that millions of phones are hiding in drawers and cupboards across the UK.

With everyone trying to make the pennies stretch a little further this time of year, why not have a scout through your drawers and cupboards and see if you have any old mobile phones needing to be recycled?

Most of the merchants listed on Sell My Mobile even pay out for broken phones, so don’t let an old dinosaur stop you keeping your goods from landfill and making yourself some money in the process!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (19)

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  1. sandy says:

    Thansk for this article I was just about to take my phone to the charity shop, I am now quids in. LOL

  2. Poppy says:

    J has recently recycled our obsolete phones through school. He gets to claim some cheap tacky irrelevant goods (oops! did I say that?) for his efforts! Oh well, it’ll keep him happy for a week or so!

  3. Layla says:

    WOW!! This looks like a great service!!

    People here are happy to give them away for free (some still don’t know that cell-phone-selling shops take ’em!) getting a good price would be even more excellent!!

    I wonder, is this government-funded or..?
    (And what happens with these phones, how & where are they recycled, what% – the ones that do end up in recycling, I mean? Any info there?)

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @sandy: Hey Sandy; well done, glad you managed to make something for yourself!

    @Poppy: At least the message is there about recycling Poppy – it’s great to keep these things out of the landfill and out of our cupboards at home.

    @Layla: I don’t know about the percentage of phones that are recycled Layla. Good question, I’ll find out 🙂

  5. Hi guys,

    I work for Compare Phone Recyclers, and to answer your question Layla, most the phones that are traded in get sent out to third world countries. They are usually refurbished with some cosmetic work and any personakl data is removed.

    We don’t actually deal with the phones directly, we simply try to give the customers the best prices available by comparing phone recyclers as incentive for people to get some extra cash, so nothing is government funded.

    The phones that can’t be reused and sent out to the third world countries are generally sent out to smelters who can reclaim the materials the phones contain.

    Hope this helps

    Jane Edwards

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Sell Mobile Phone: Hello Jane, many thanks for that information. Layla asked a really important question and it now has an added feel good factor to think the phones can benefit people in third World countries. No more excuses for leaving them in the drawers and cupboards, unused and unloved 🙂

  7. LJayne says:

    I need to do that “deep looking in things” in my loft. I’ve done a lot so far by concentrating on passing on baby stuff and clothes. I still have a couple of big bags but I’m going to get my local women’s refuge or women’s aid to take those, they are always in need.

    Then we have to tackle stuff we moved with 4 years ago and is still up there eeeeeek. True true we use it for storing things like our suitcases in between holidays and our packing boxes and the like. But I know there is a whole box of videos up there that has never come down and various other “goodies” like that.

    Thing is, if I leave them there then they aren’t in landfill and I know there are some things up there that it is unlikely that I’ll ever find a second use or a home for. That’s bad isn’t it. I need a “hang my head in shame” smiley!

  8. Layla says:

    @Sell Mobile Phone: Thank you very much for your reply! 🙂

    Indeed it feels good to know a bit more about all this!
    Can you tell a bit more about the processes used to erase owners’ data, and what exactly happens to the phones that are no longer working?
    Also, who tells the usable and unusable apart, and is there more of usable ones or those not working?
    Or does it depend and would individual companies or smelters be able to tell more?
    (Do you know any names or websites of smelters?)

    I am especially concerned whether the smelters just ‘smelt’ – melt or burn unnecessary ingredients, as metals have nowadays much better price in the markets than plastics, and plastics can be much more problematic to recycle. So, do plastics also get recycled and to what percentage, and if not, what happens to them?

    LJayne, no shame in it! 🙂 We have a lot of stuff in our attic too, a lot needs sorting.. We have weeded some stuff out, it is a PROCESS remember? So maybe just start small, with stuff that you can easily find a 2nd home for.. Maybe post your questions here &/or in other places dealing with decluttering or green decluttering? Maybe some stuff can be repurposed or eg cushions made out of clothes no one would dream of wearing even in a shelter or so!

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Oh I hear you on this. Our attic is almost worse than the garage was. DH likes to leave it all there and ‘forget about it’. I can’t and would rather sort it. But yes, there is probably loads of landfill stuff up there

    As Layla says, it’s a process. But if you’re anything like me, once you make up your mind to shift stuff, you want it gone yesterday and of course that is where landfill becomes so appealing – it’s quicker and more ‘convenient’ than trying to rehome things…

    Perhaps I’ll set up a New Year challenge on the site and get people joining in!

  10. A great find Mrs G. I hope you don’t mind but I thought this would be a vey useful link to include in an article I’ve written for a local mag. I haven’t recycled my old phone yet…the one which ended up in the swimming pool…but looking at some of those figures I could have myself a nice little earner 😀

  11. Ben84 says:

    Clearing out stuff is my least liked household task, and I don’t even own that much stuff.

    When it comes to landfill waste from packaging, I still have careless purchases, but i did make one rule I haven’t broken yet, and that is to never throw out anything that is still functional. I recently bought a new record player as the old one broke and was far too old and worn out to justify repair (made in 1965!). The record player went to landfill, but the speakers were still perfectly good. My new record player came with speakers, so I ebayed the old ones. It took weeks, with a couple of relistings before they sold, and I really wanted the space in the wardrobe back.

    I sold a few other items this way, although some with more success. I didn’t however make a lot of money, so I wonder if it was really a good use of time. Between taking photos, listing, wrapping and walking to the post office, it does take some time.

    I did it for the environmental reasons more than making money, but I’ve since discovered that if I’m not going to throw out functional things any more, I need to be more careful what I buy. Disposing of stuff isn’t easy when landfill isn’t an option.

  12. Hi again guys,

    To erase any owners data the phone recyclers use a piece of software that literally formats the phone, much like formatting a computer harddrive so the phone is completely clear of any data and is as good as new.

    The majority of phones traded in are fully functional working phones, however the proportion of mobile phones that are broken (determined by factors such as: unable to turn on, damaged screens, unrepsonsive keypads etc) are usually sent away either to be repaired or to be broken down (which is wear the metals are reclaimed from the phone). Components such a memory, LCD screens and processors can be used to refurbish other phones and in some cases used for new phones if they are a compatible match.

    Unfortunately I don’t know any smelting websites or companies, but I can try to find that out for you.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Hey Mrs A; I hope you’re able to make yourself some money and benefit the environment at the same time. And I, and I’m sure Jane will be, delighted that you are giving the company a mention in your local mag 🙂

    @Ben84: Hi Ben84 – you’re in good company; none of us much like the process of decluttering, although the rewards are great! It sounds like you are dedicated – we too, hang on to things for weeks if we are looking to rehome things and you’re right; the TIME factor can be enormous. The temptation is to get rid of it and clear the space, but it just doesn’t feel right once you make that promise never to landfill decent items does it?
    Were you able to put your old record player into WEEE rather than landfill?
    It’s always heartening to hear of people putting landfill before their own convenience – we take a lot of comfort from that, so thanks for sharing your experience here 🙂

  14. @Almost Mrs Average: That would be fantastic if we had a mention in your local mag! Thank you so much.

    Also just to point out a quick change, we have now rebranded the website to Sell My Mobile but don’t worry if you have phones you would like to trade in the link to still works (a redirect to our new site).

    @Layla: I’m still working on the smelting details for you and should get some feedback for you soon.


  15. Elizabeth says:

    were is this? or is it just done online????

  16. Mrs Green says:

    @Elizabeth: Hi Elizabeth; it’s an online service – you get sent a FREEPOST envelope to pop your phone in to your chosen buyer 🙂

  17. alvi says:

    you can now compare mobile phone recyclers and get prices from up to 26 recyclers at when these companiesbuy the mobile phones from concumers there are recycled and sent to developing countries so that there telecommunication structure improves, also they by sold back in pay as you go market. hoped this info helped

  18. Mrs Green says:

    @alvi: Thank you Alvi; good to hear of other companies helping us to recycle our old mobile phones.

  19. John says:

    @Elizabeth: It’s mainly an online service. Compare prices at recycle old mobiles or sell my mobile.

    The good thing about it is it doesn’t cost you a penny. You’re sent a special bag from the recyling company which you use to send them your old mobile. The company then, checks over your mobile to ensure it is in the state you described. All being well you’ll then be sent out a cheque or paid directly into your bank account.

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