Taking Advantage of Verizon Wireless' E-Waste Program

All you need to do, as the owner, is appraise the device based on its condition, model, and manufacturer and then send it in to Verizon with a pre-paid envelope.

An electronic device trade-in service offered by Verizon Wireless aims to reduce e-waste across the United States while providing consumers with multiple incentives.

The service, which you can read more about on Verizon's site, works on several levels for those interested. First, there's the trade-in option, which allows consumers to receive a gift in return for sending their no-longer-used device to Verizon. That goes for whether it's a smartphone, tablet, or an old phone you have kept around in case of an emergency.

All you need to do, as the owner, is appraise the device based on its condition, model, and manufacturer and then send it in to Verizon with a pre-paid envelope. From there, they will renew your item and send you a gift card to be used in their online store. They also tend to have special trade-in programs following the release of a major new phone, such as the iPhone 6.

Going one step further, however, is Verizon's HopeLine initiative. In addition to keeping phones out of the environment with their zero-landfill policy, they refurbish no-longer-used phones so they can be given to domestic violence survivors. To date, they have recycled 2.1 million phones across the U.S. while providing the devices and free voice and message plans to survivors.

If you take part in any of these programs, Verizon urges you to protect your personal data. Doing so is simple. Many phones come equipped with a function to delete all of the data while restoring it factory settings. However, you'll also want to remove any mini-memory cards used with the phone, along with the SIM card.

What's Your Old Phone Worth?
If you'd like to find out the value of your phone, you can do so through the following steps:

  • Dial **VALUE (**82583) on your phone. You'll hear a message informing you that you will receive a text message.
  • Open the text message and click the link.
  • Verify the model and condition of the phone at the link.
  • Select "Get My Quote," and you will receive a trade-in value for the phone.
  • Save the quote information and take it to your local Verizon Wireless store representative.

The importance of recycling electronic devices cannot be overstated. As made clear in an article on About.com, American households aren't doing everything they can to make sure that their electronics don't end up sitting in a landfill. They estimate that only 10 percent of Americans recycle their old cell phones, which is a shame given what can be achieved if everyone did their part.

This piece of information was particularly staggering: "If Americans recycled all of the 130 million cell phones that are tossed aside annually in the United States, we could save enough energy to power more than 24,000 homes for a year."

Remember to do your part, even in the smallest sense. You can do good by simply not tossing that phone in the trash or letting it gather dust in a drawer. Recycle it.

Joanne Peters is a part-time freelance writer based out of New York. She typically writes about technology and the environment. When she's not doing research on those topics, Joanne enjoys biking, hiking, and discovering new ways to conserve energy.