Spring cleaning. Most people dread this yearly ritual and relate it to a weekend full of organizing, dusting, scrubbing, and every other boring chore there is. If we’re being honest with ourselves, I think we can all agree that “adulting” isn’t as fun as we pictured it being in our teenage years. But what if you could turn this monotonous task into a money-making opportunity?

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve found at least one old iPhone or smart device in your junk drawer that you keep shoving back in there year after year “just in case something happens” to your current phone. With new phones coming out every year it’s finally time to part ways with these old devices. The only question now is: “What in the world do I do with this junk?”

Improperly disposing of old devices can have negative impacts on your local environment. Although phone manufacturers such as Apple actively take steps towards decreasing the number of toxic chemicals used in their production process, most outdated phone models contain high levels of harmful chemicals like lead and mercury. These toxins leach into the ground and water when devices aren’t disposed of properly, creating health risks in the local community.

Recycling devices is a much more responsible option than tossing them in the trash, but make sure you don’t mix the phone in with your glass bottles and cardboard boxes as most states don’t allow e-waste to be recycled using household recycling bins. You can find your closest e-waste drop off locations using Call2Recycle or Ecycling Central.

Now that being said, instead of throwing it away or recycling it, why not turn your trash into cash by selling it online? Think of it as getting an allowance for doing those boring chores all weekend! Maybe adulting isn’t so bad after all.

There are many options to choose from when selling your old phone — including your carrier, retail stores, online sites, etc. — and each of these platforms has its advantages and downfalls. If you’re looking to make the most bang for your buck, internet-based buyback sites are usually your best bet.

Not only do these companies make it quick and easy, they usually purchase at higher rates and have more payment options. Most of these companies also purchase phones in damaged or broken condition, so don’t rule out these types of phones as being worthless just yet! Companies will generally repair or re-use the salvageable parts and dispose of any e-waste through the proper channels in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.

The main thing to remember before selling your phone is to make sure you’ve done your research. Shop around and look for things like best quotes, fastest turnover rates, and your preferred payment method. Most importantly, don’t forget to erase your personal data from the phone before selling, recycling, or properly discarding!

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