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Home / Articles / Ending Domestic Violence / Your Old Cell Phone Can Help Survivors

Your Old Cell Phone Can Help Survivors

How to recycle smartphones, laptops, cameras and video games

  • By
  • Aug 05, 2015
Your Old Cell Phone Can Help Survivors

Fun fact of the day: There are more than 500 million retired cell phones scattered around homes in the United States. Unlike most retirees, however, they’re not playing golf and visiting the grandkids; these retired phones are probably just taking up space in kitchen junk drawers or being given to toddlers to smear peanut butter on.

What you may not realize is that these old and outdated phones could be serving a higher purpose—by recycling them, you could help survivors of domestic violence. By donating them to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, these relics—whether or not they’re in working condition—are recycled, refurbished and resold by Cellular Recycler, a company that has, to date, kept an estimated 3 million cell phones out of landfills. A portion of the resale proceeds then goes back to NCADV to help fund programs that empower survivors of domestic violence and help them live free from abuse. In 2014, the NCADV received more than $63,000 as a result of these recycled phones.

The make, model and condition of your cell phone doesn’t matter. All donations are accepted, as well as any accessories related to the devices. Additionally, cell phones are not the only things that can be recycled through this program.

What You Can Donate:

  • Cell phones and smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Mp3 players
  • Digital cameras
  • Video game systems

What you may not realize is that simply throwing your old cell phones into the garbage isn’t always safe. According to Cellular Recycler, small amounts of harmful materials that make up cell phones, such as cadmium and lead, can make their way into ground water. Ingested, these substances can contribute to the risk of cancer and other reproductive and developmental disorders.

Cellular Recycler safely recycles any electronics that can not be refurbished. The company holds a Responsible Recycling certification, the highest certification given out by the Environmental Protection Agency for e-waste recyclers.

To donate your unused phones or other electronics, visit NCADV’s website for a free shipping label (3 item minimum required). Or, simply mail them to: Cellular Recycler, Attn: NCADV, 4840 Sterling Drive, Unit A, Boulder, CO 80301. You don’t need to erase the data from your old device before sending—if refurbished, the item’s software is replaced with new software which will completely wipe clean any stored information from your device.