New Phone? Don’t Bury the Old One in a Junk Drawer — Here’s Why Email 12-29-2019 Getting a new phone over the holidays? Remember to recycle your old one! It’s easy — in California, stores that sell cell phones are required to take them back for recycling. Oftentimes they’ll even give you credit towards a new device. If you’re keeping old phones and tablets in a “junk drawer of sadness,” get those precious metals back into action! Phones contain gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium — valuable materials that manufacturers want to reuse. While it’s great to give your old phone a new life, never put one in your garbage or curbside recycling. Why? The lithium ion batteries can cause terrible fires in waste trucks and sorting facilities. Find ways to recycle, donate or sell your old phone in our Recycling Guide. Find out more about why they’re so important to recycle by watching this video.