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Here's a new way to recycle your old mobile phone

recycling box with language about how to recycle your cellphone
New mobile phone recycling boxes are placed throughout Great Parks of Hamilton County

There are multiple ways to get rid of your old mobile phone — donate it, sell it, recycle it, trash it. Great Parks of Hamilton County hopes you won't pick that last one. The county park district is now offering free mobile phone recycling boxes at parks and golf courses.

"Many of us have old cell phones, perhaps even an old flip phone, lying around that we don't want to throw away but aren't sure what to do with," says Kara Schirmer, grants manager and a member of the Great Parks sustainability task force. "The next time you take a walk at Sharon Woods or play golf at the Little Miami Golf Center, you can easily drop off your phone to be recycled."

The bins are posted inside buildings throughout the park district. Once full, they'll be sent to Eco-Cell to be recycled or, if still functional, resold, with part of the proceeds sent back to Great Parks.

"We're excited to launch this program to benefit natural resources, protect sensitive habitats and reduce the amount of waste — and especially hazardous waste — to our landfills," she says. "These specially marked bins are a convenient option for our park visitors to recycle their cell phones, thereby preventing lead, mercury and other toxic substances from entering the landfills and leaching into the ground."

Schirmer has a few tips before you drop off your old devices.

"Apple users should turn off that Find My iPhone function, remove the iCloud account and remove the screen lock password. Android users need to log out of their Google and Samsung accounts and remove the screen lock password. The final step is just to remove all that data from your phone," she says.

The bins are only for mobile phones and people shouldn't include chargers, cases, or other types of devices like e-readers or tablets.

Bins are currently located indoors at the following locations:

  • Winton Woods at the Mill Golf Course clubhouse and Meadow Links & Golf Academy
  • Sharon Woods Sharon Centre and Sharon Woods Golf Course clubhouse
  • Glenwood Gardens Cotswold Visitor Centre
  • Great Parks Nature Center at The Summit in Roselawn
  • Little Miami Golf Center clubhouse
  • Woodland Mound Seasongood Nature Center
  • The Vineyard golf clubhouse
  • Miami Whitewater Forest visitor center and Miami Whitewater Forest Golf Course clubhouse
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.