What to do with your old cell phones
Smartphones are now a staple of everyday life. They are everywhere and for many people they are a lifeline, connecting them to family, friends and global events..

"What do you think you need more, your car or your phone?" asked Kyle Opdahl, who runs CPR Cell Phone Repair in Maple Grove. "People that come in here they can't be without their phone for an hour."

Some of us change phones frequently and have no clue what to do with our old, unused devices.

"No I don't," said Brooklyn Park resident Mac Horton. "I just leave them in the drawer. I must have three or four of them back to the flip age."

Opdahl says before getting rid of your phone, save the data on an app or store it in a network "cloud."

"You should almost do that yourself before bringing it to anybody or getting rid of it," Opdahl said. "I would recommend clearing all your data and taking out any SIM card that may be in the device."

Whatever you decide to do with your old cell phone, don't toss it in the garbage. That is a taboo. Either recycle or resell it. Cell phones are mini computers made up of batteries, chemicals, metals and glass.

"We don't know what these things do to the environment yet," Opdahl said. "We know that it's harmful. Throwing it away I would say is a big no no."

CPR Cell Phone Repair recycles old phones for free. They put them in a bucket and bring the phones to be recycled.

If your old phone still works, you can donate it to organizations such as www.securethecall.org, which will set it up to only call 911 and give the phone to seniors, people in domestic violence shelters and police departments.

Eric Nelson, reporting



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