Get Paid for your iPhone, and Help Protect the Environment!

How selling your old iPhone to GreenCitizen keeps other electronics out of landfills. Our latest blog post from GC staff writer Jake Hanft

How Selling your Old iPhone to GreenCitizen Keeps other Electronics out of Landfills


Electronic waste is the fastest growing portion our waste stream. Americans throw away 143,000 computers per day, and this presents a great problem…and a great opportunity. First the problem: an overwhelming majority of these 143,000 computers are not recycled, but tossed into landfills with other garbage. Aside from compounding our nation’s growing landfill problem, these computers contaminate our drinking water by slowly leaking toxins, like lead, into our groundwater. Often, computers are not dumped in landfills, but shipped overseas by illicit “recyclers” to landfills in Asia and Africa, where workers burn away the plastics of the computers to recover the more valuable metals. This process is disastrous for the environment, and is not unique to computers: Old TVs, printers, and appliances all face a similar fate.

But this problem also presents opportunity. In America, we often view our waste as a nuisance: waste is something to get rid of. But the idea of waste as a resource is gaining some traction. Companies like GreenCitizen, which makes a profit off of people’s discarded items, are a novelty now, but may be far more common in the future. The world’s resources are limited, and as prices for raw materials continue to rise, markets for raw materials will begin looking in new places to fulfill demand. One of those places is our waste stream.


Now, believe it or not, that old malfunctioning printer you have which you bought for $40 a couple years ago has no value. To fix it would cost more than its sale price. Like a car after a bad accident, it is totaled. And the same story is true for its raw materials. The cost of extracting and separating the printer’s raw materials into usable resources exceeds the value of those raw materials. This may change in the future as resources become scarcer, but for now the grim reality is that recycling such items won’t pay for itself.

But here is where your old iPhone comes in. Selling your old iPhone to GreenCitizen directly supports the recycling of “totaled” electronics. After erasing all data from your iPhone (or laptop, or smartphone, or tablet), GreenCitizen resells it to someone in America, using its technical know-how and wide market reach to command a higher price.

But it doesn’t just pocket the profits. GreenCitizen uses them to prevent more than 200,000 pounds of electronic waste from entering our nation’s landfills every month.

And that is what sets GreenCitizen apart: it sacrifices its profits to preserve the environment. As a result, you can responsibly recycle your old printer (or computer, or microwave, or refrigerator) for free.

So skip the craigslist hassles. Sell your iPhone back to GreenCitizen, put some money in your pocket, and help preserve the environment. When you do, everybody wins.

You can do that by dropping off your iPhone at our Eco Center or by mailing it in to us.

Please email questions to

James Kao is the founder/CEO of GreenCitizen, which provides products and services that help make every day Earth Day. He's passionate about data and sustainability, with a deep background in launching, funding, and managing successful tech companies. James enjoys spending quality time with his family, hiking, traveling, watching well-made documentaries, and eating good healthy food. read more »

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One Comment on “Get Paid for your iPhone, and Help Protect the Environment!

    does it work with any android cause mines a glaxay S but when? u turn it around it has a 5.0 mega auto focus and its a slide and im wondering if it will work with it ???

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