Are you wondering how to make extra money to augment your income before the year runs out? Yes, it is possible to make money from your old phones.
How many phones have used in your lifetime? What happens to your old devices when you get a new trendy one?
Do you give it out or allow them to waste away in the house? Are they presently lying idle in your drawers or closet?
Many people find it difficult to dispose of old phones due to data security concerns or simply because they don’t just know how to dispose of them.
Proper disposal of mobile devices is important as they are made of plastic and hazardous chemicals that can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater, which is dangerous to health when consumed by residents.
Mobile phones also contain useful materials such as platinum, palladium and copper, as well as plastic and glass.
Therefore, it is not advisable to dispose of them in the refuse bin or landfill.
A report by Statista said that this year alone, the number of mobile devices actively in use globally has increased to about 15 billion, up from just over 14 billion in 2020.
It also predicted that the number of mobile devices is expected to reach 18.22 billion by 2025, an increase of 4.2 billion devices compared to 2020 levels.
There are a number of phone recycling companies that are ready to recycle your old phone in exchange for cash.
How phone-for-cash exchange works
Some of these companies will provide a valuation of your mobile device when you supply relevant information online. They will then send you a postage-paid pack for your phone to be delivered to them. After, they will inspect the device to ensure it matches the details and condition you provided online.
If it does, you should receive the quoted price. However, if the recycling company isn’t happy with the phone’s condition, they’ll likely take some money off your payment.
Depending on the condition, your phone will then either be resold, recycled within the country or exported abroad. Those that cannot be refurbished are broken down into parts for recycling.
When you sell your mobile phones to a recycler, some of the components are used to make low-cost mobile phones, while other parts such as plastics, rechargeable batteries, and metals are used to manufacture other products such as jewellery, automotive parts, and electronics.
Regardless of how the materials are used, the good news is that the chemicals are prevented from contaminating the environment and destroying people’s health.
E-waste collection firms in Africa
While there is no infrastructure for recycling and no take-back process for old used electronics championed by the government of most African countries, some private firms are collecting obsolete mobile phones and other electronics for reuse and recycle purposes.
E-terra in Nigeria
E-terra is an eco-friendly company that refurbishes and commercializes old mobiles for reuse or as donations as part of its corporate social responsibility.
According to the company, it can arrange to pick up of the mobile phone for a fee or sometimes for free.
The company says it is ready to pay an agreed amount of money for your old devices after an assessment of their intrinsic value.
E-terra’s recycle process also ensures that important data stored on your mobile device is not stolen and passed on to other people by erasing them for reuse or degaussing.
It also permanently destroys all old and unwanted data storage components such as hard drives, memory cards or SIM cards.
Fairphone in Uganda and Ghana
Fairphone been working with different partners since 2013 to collect e-waste in parts of Africa where there isn’t yet any formal take-back infrastructure.
The company manufactures new phones from parts obtained from recycled old or obsolete mobile devices.
In order to make money from the scheme, the process involves getting a quote for the old phone to see how much it is still worth. Then, you can decide if you want to return your phone or not.
You will receive a Fairphone Gift Card once you are able to deliver your phone gets to its collection centre.
These phones can be reused or recycled, depending on their condition.
Phones that are no longer functional and cannot be repaired are dispatched to a European recycling facility where they are processed to recover valuable resources.
Closing the loop
Closing the loop initiative was founded by Dutch entrepreneur, Joost de Kluijver, to collect e-waste in Some African countries and ship it to Europe for recycling.
At the moment, Closing the Loop is working with local partners in African countries like Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon and Rwanda and has made significant progress.
Around 2 million mobile phones have been prevented from indiscriminate disposal of mobile phones in developing countries through the Closing the Loop initiative.
You can make money from Closing the Loop as the initiative gives people who participate in its collection scheme about 30 Euros for every phone collected or around Euro 5 per kg.
Up to 95 percent of precious metals that would otherwise be lost forever are shipped to its partner in Belgium, Umicore, for recycling.
WeFix in South Africa
In order to sell your phone on WeFix, you will need to complete an online assessment form while you will give an accurate description of your device.
WeFix will conduct a physical inspection and assessment and give you a quote and pay you the money that had been agreed on.
However, if you are not satisfied with the quote, the company will return it to you for free.
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