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Sprint Will Buy Any Old Cell Phone on America Recycles Day

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Friday November 15th, 2013 | 5 Comments

America_Recycles_Day_cell_phones_David_Paul_OhmerGot an electronic gizmo that is no longer showing life signs? Is your desk drawer getting crowded with all those cell phones you have retired and keep promising to find a new home for? Good news. Today is America Recycles Day (ARD). While there is no lack of places to recycle your electronic gear, a few companies are working to make the task a bit sweeter for customers.

Sprint buy-back incentive

Sprint, which last year out-matched its competitors in the number of recycled cell phones it brought in, is offering an incentive for customers who turn in an old cell phone in honor of ARD. In addition to the various monetary incentives it offers throughout the year for recycling electronic media, the company is offering $20 for each phone surrendered for recycle. And they don’t have to work. They also don’t have to be Sprint phones. “The Sprint Buyback Program is an important program for customers that also just happens to benefit our business” Kendra Wright said. Wright serves as director to Sprint Nextel’s Reverse Logistics and Device Quality department. The company doesn’t just recycle phone parts; when it can, it refurbishes the phone and sells it as a “pre-used” device that gets a second life.

The buy back is only available at stores in San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

“By collecting and reusing millions of devices a year, we spend less buying new devices.” That also means there are less phones out there that could potentially end up in land fills or – ahem – desk drawer. America_Recycles_Day_logo_SprintAnd there’s another benefit for customers says Sprint: cost. Customers who are willing to buy a “pre-loved” phone pay less for the device. But don’t delay. The offer is only valid on Nov. 15 in honor of ARD.

Ongoing trade-in programs

Apple, Walmart and Gazelle are all offering trade-in programs for iPhones. These companies actually take in a wide selection of electronic equipment beyond iPhones. Of course, the price the store will pay will depend upon condition and the type of media. These commercial programs, which each come with their own terms, extend beyond Nov. 15. Environmental organizations that have helped to expose the pollution and problems caused by tin mining can at least take heart that with each phone recycled, there’s all the less demand for more tin from the islands of Bangka and Belitung.

 Charity programs

Cell phone users that aren’t really worried about earning cash but want to see their devices go to a good nonprofit cause that can refurbish and reuse them can find a short list of good, reputable organizations on the Earth911 website that take donated equipment like smartphones. There are also options for donating other types of needed materials as well. At the very least, cell phone users will know their phone’s second life will donated to a good purpose.

Cell phones image courtesy of David Paul Ohmer Sprint logo courtesy of Sprint


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  • km80

    the Sprint store is not aware of this other than the regular cell phone buy back based on model. Please do your research before you post news items

    • jenboynton

      Hi there – the info in the article came to us directly from Spring HQ… I’m sorry to hear the store you went to wasn’t in the loop! I’ll see if someone from corporate wants to comment.

    • jenboynton

      Hi there. It looks like the buy back is only available in select cities. I’ve updated the article. So sorry for the hassle!

    • J_N_Lee

      My apology for not specifying the selected stores that were provided in Sprint’s news release.

  • Big Girl 2

    Either you neglected to mention or Sprint is playing, once again, games, they are only buying back for store credit or to another phone. Waste of my time. And, yet giving me another reason why I do not want Sprint’s service, at the 3rd/LaCienega, Los Angles store