How to recycle cell phone power cords

Updated July 19, 2017

When you upgrade your phone at the end of your cell phone contract term you usually are left with an incompatible charger. Manufacturers often slightly adjust the AC adaptor with newer models, rendering your old one useless. Rather than tossing it in the trash, which is illegal in many places, you can recycle the charger with the phone to protect the environment, reduce waste and provide phones and accessories to charities in need. With a small amount of effort you can keep your old chargers out of the dump.

Contact your local sanitation department to determine whether your charger can be recycled with your regularly scheduled pickup service. Some cities will collect chargers normally, while other will require you to bring electronic waste, including chargers to their recycling centre. Be sure to ask about any possible additional charges or limits on collection. Be aware that you may need to show proof of residency to drop off the charger at the recycling centre.

Visit for locations of non-profit and recycling centres where you can donate and recycle your old charger. Many non-profit will take your cell phone, along with available accessories, to provide phones for domestic violence shelters and other charitable organisations.

Contact privately run recycling centres for rates and restrictions on power cord recycling. You can check for locations near your Postcode. Be aware some of these centres will charge a fee for recycling.

Check electronics retailers for cell phone drop-off sites. When dropping off phones, for free, they will often allow or even request the power cord be donated.

Post your cell charger on The site allows users to post available items for others to collect and use for free. Be sure to include your phone manufacturer and compatible phones in the listing.


Be sure to erase any information from cell phones donated along with cords.

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About the Author

Marit Anderson has been a writer since 2005. She contributes to the website BlogCritics, where she serves as a fashion critic and editor. Her work has also appeared in various other online publications. Anderson holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and in humanities, media and cultural studies from Macalester College. She is currently a Juris Doctor candidate from Case Western School of Law.