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How to Recycle Old Land Line Phones – FAQ

We get asked a lot, “How can I recycle old land line phones” ?

(Now, if you’re a business reading this, please note that this blog post relates to home users. If you have bulk phones for disposal, please get in touch. They may actually be worth something. But don’t plan to buy a yacht)

So, some of the FAQ

“Would we like to buy it?” No thanks! They are usually not worth anything. They can’t be refurbished profitably, or easily sold on eBay, although we do try and sell them in bulk if nearly new. The differential between a new and a refurbished used one is too small to justify refurbishment. Next question. Sorry.

“Of course, then can be shipped to developing countries for re-use“.  Mobiles, yes, landlines, no. Simply, they are not worth handling and shipping. Sub-Saharan Africa seems to be able to take as many used mobiles as can be found.  But it’s not the place to recycle  old land line phones…

The parts can be reused”. Sorry, “no” once again. They are mightily difficult to dismantle, an “electronic pomegranate”, all skin and no fruit, time-consuming and bitty. To recycle  old land line phones component-by-component simply does not make sense.

“Can’t you sell them on eBay?”  A decent new one is around fifteen pounds or less. It’s hardly worth bothering, unless you sell in bulk. Bulk buyers are usually businesses. And businesses tend to buy new. Some we don’t have the heart to throw away. And we do put them in our eBay shop. And they sit, and sit, and sit. Occasionally we’ll sell a batch of three barely-used ones. And that’s it.

“Charity shops can sell them”. I don’t see many. Some decline to take them in the same way that they reject any electrical goods.

“Charities take them for free to support their work”. Yes, mobiles, which are sold into developing countries. Not used land line phones.

So, some suggestions?

Folks who want to recycle  old land line phones will find that their local authority’s recycling centre has a special area for electronic waste. You’ve already paid for their services via the council tax.

And us? Yes, we take these in bulk from businesses, charge them for the collection, handling, transport and disposal. We work closely with a major trade-only telecommunications recycler who strips them down to extract circuit boards, copper, and plastic. All compliant with Environment Agency guidelines and the WEEE Regulations 2013

If you are a business wanting to recycle old land line phones, please be in touch. We have a free document to send which gives vital guidelines on handing (see the photo above…), FAQs, plus our tariff. If the devices are specific to a business phone system, that is, not the plain analogue ones described above, there may even be the remote chance of some value to be reclaimed.

Sorry if this all sounds a little harsh. We’ve been in the industry since 1999, and have dealt with  thousands of  phones for some major organisations , so have hopefully learnt something. However, the good news is that more and more folks want to recycle old land line phones, rather than throw them away. And that’s great.

And if we can help, please get in touch.

  1. George Pope08-22-2016

    Very good, clear, realistic advice. Thanks.

  2. Irene12-05-2016

    My daughter loves playing with phones. Therefore, I am looking for an old phone that nobody needs anymore and it is surprisingly hard to find. I would be most grateful if you could point me to somewhere where I can find an old unwanted phone that somebody is throwing out.

    • Rob Govier12-05-2016

      Well, we have a few here….. 🙂 Drop me a line via the contact page, please, with more details, and I’ll try and find something that will suit.

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