1. Always, always, always pull out your SIM chip and SD or mini SD card.
Today, pretty much every phone has some sort of REMOVE-able storage – so remove it before you donate or recycle your device. That pretty much will cover all of the security concerns you may have.
2. Do a little planning on the front end when getting your new cell phone…
as most Americas update or change cell phones every 18 months. Point all of your storage (photos, music, phonebook) to your sim or sd chip. All of the “how to’s” will be in your new owner’s manual.
3. If you are one of those that are super concerned with security of your data, just master reset or master clear your device.
It has become so easy to reset or master clear your phone. If you’ve kept your instruction manual, the steps will outlined. If you don’t have your manual, there are hundreds or thousands of DIY videos all over the interwebs – most just a few minutes long. Here are ours: How to Clear My Blackberry and How to Clear My Treo.
4. Find a cause that is bigger than just recycling.
Cells for Cells recycles cells phones to help families that are battling cancer. Another great example of a recycling programs that does more than just recycle is Cell Phones for Soldiers. With a solid purpose behind your efforts, more people will follow you and you end up doing more. And if you are passionate about a cause that is not Cells for Cells, don’t let that stop you from recycling.
5. Influence others to join you.
It is commonly accepted that cell phone recycling rates remain in the single digits. So recycle more than one phone at a time. Buddy Up with co-workers and friends that are inclined to recycle and get your place of employment behind you. It is way more exciting to work with your co-workers and friends for your cause (See #4). Fill a giant box with cell phones to recycle. Make a bigger difference for your cause. (Oh, by the way, you know that little plastic baggie that comes with new cell phones – IGNORE IT. It encourages people who want to recycle – to just recycle one phone – and that is not you, right?)
6. The phone, battery and charger do not have to match.
Most recyclers separate the components, anyway. So don’t worry if you have cells to recycle without the batteries or chargers – it all recycles just the same.
7. Use free shipping if your program offers it – but don’t let it hold you back…
from recycling if your program does not offer to pay for your shipping. Keep in mind that Cells for Cells wants you to recycle at least 25 cell phones before we send you a pre-paid FedEx label. (Anyone still use the word “gumption“? As in, “It is easy for me to collect more than 25 cell phones for recycling, because I have gumption.”)
8. Be a giver.
Just get your old cell phone out of your office drawer or closet and give it to a program that helps others. Give a little of your time to help promote collecting cell phones in your office. You be the person to print off the poster “Battle Cancer with a Cell Phone” and hang it in your breakroom. You be the person that calls FedEx to pick up the box of (more than) 25 cells you and your office buddies collected. You be the person that helped a family that is battling cancer.