Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's Wireless Cleanup Time Again

Here's a New Year's "get organized" resolution that might just put some money in your pocket. Clean up your wireless act!

Fact is that most of us hoard old cell phones way beyond their use to us. The contract ends, we sign up with a different carrier or extend our contract with our current provider to get a new cell phone. Sometimes that's because technology has changed so much that we need those bi-annual upgrades to stay competitive. Sometimes it's just because we want a snazzier phone and, let's face it, a lot of models are available free. So what's the incentive to keep using the old one?

On the other hand, it's awful hard to part company with that old friend. It's still a functional piece of high technology that "might" come in handy later. Except it doesn't. Instead, these things pile up in desk drawers and cardboard boxes where they rapidly depreciate to zero value. Finally, in a burst of compulsive housecleaning, those old phones get tossed in the trash and hauled to the landfill by the millions. Millions of gradually decomposing toxic chemical sources gradually leaching their cadmium, lead and other poisons into the ecosystem. Is that really a good thing?

Now here's a shocker. If you resell your old cell phone or wireless device right away, you can get cash back from sending it in to a recycler. These newer phones are checked and refurbished so they can be put back into service in places that are glad to get low cost cell phones and don't care about having the latest models. Many third world countries fit that description.

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