Not sure what to do with the multiple mobiles clogging up your drawers? Here’s how to be shot of your defunct technology.

If you have that drawer in your house – you know, that one that resembles a back catalogue of Steve Jobs’ greatest hits – you’re not alone. A survey by the Royal Society of Chemistry highlighted just what a problem our ‘tech graveyards’ are, with an estimated 40 million unused devices in UK homes alone.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to our stockpile of defunct gadgets. On the downside, there are 30 different elements in your average smartphone, with some projected to run out in the next 100 years (not to mention the ecological impact of mining for them in the meantime). But on the plus side, most gadgets are recyclable (up to 80 per cent of a mobile can be reused). But where to dispose of them safely to ensure they will be stripped and reused efficiently? Here’s a list of six sites and stores who will recycle or donate your e-waste online.

Before you off-load your old tech, a note on security: do ensure you have removed all SIM or MicroSD cards; logged out of any iCloud storage; and restored factory settings to ensure your personal data is removed – then you’re ready to say goodbye.

Music Magpie

Musicmapgie is the UK’s number one mobile recycling service, offering same-day pay outs and a price-match promise. And it’s not just phones – you can sell your consoles, smartwatches, laptops, speakers and tablets, too. Simply type in the model and condition and you’ll get an instant price (tip: phones that are unlocked from a network are worth more, so if yours is at the end of its contract, it’s worth ringing your provider to get it unlocked to enable you to resell). If you don’t just hoard tech but media too, you can earn money from your old CDs and DVDs, too. Find out more here.


CEX buys all manner of devices, tech and accessories online. You can choose to get paid in cash or swap for a (higher value) voucher to spend on your next gadget purchase. With 300,000 Trustpilot reviews and easy an ‘click and drop’ in-store service, it’s a great, trusted option for offloading your old kit. Find out more here.


Launched in 2009, ECOATM has recycled some 28 million mobiles, a process it has down to three easy steps. Find your nearest kiosk (there are 5000 locations around the UK) and simply pop the phone you want to sell inside the booth. The high-tech analysis machine will examine your device for condition, mobile and give you an instant quote. If you accept the price, you’ll be paid there and then. A simple, clever way to do your bit in clearing e-waste, easily. Find out more here.


A not-for-profit charity based in Warrington, WEEECharity accepts a wide range of computers and electrical equipment which are then recycled, repaired or refurbished by its team of volunteers, many of whom are unemployed, or have disabilities or learning difficulties. You can drop off, or book a collection via their website, or learn more about how you can support their charitable work in the community. Find out more here.

Three’s Reconnected Scheme

Mobile Network Three runs a Reconnected Scheme to provide a phone to some of the 20 million people in the UK for whom a mobile is a luxury they can’t afford. Helping homeless people get connected with the digital world, or providing a lifeline to victims of domestic abuse, they work with a network of charities to connect unwanted phones to those in need, and even gives them a free three-month contract to help them get started. Find out more here.

Recycle Now

If you’d like to find your local electrical recycling point, simply tap in your postcode and Recycle Now will find your nearest location. It’s not just for mobiles either; you can check the best place to safely and responsibly recycle computers, cameras, electrical tools, DVD players and more. Find out more here.

By Lydia Mansi
Updated April 2022

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.