Smartphone Recycle Without Throwing It Out

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When you have got a new smartphone, what do you do with your old mobile phones? You could exchange it or sell it to get a few bucks. But you might be getting the bad end of that deal. Repurposing your phone is a much better idea.

Think about it. Whether it is an archaic Nokia or a recent Android or iPhone, that old phone has some sophisticated circuitry inside. As we move into a world of smart homes and connected devices, your phone’s technology is more useful than ever before.

So while it might be technically obsolete as a phone, it can still serve several other uses – any of which are better than contributing to the mountains of e-waste building up in the world. You need to get creative. Here are a few ideas to start you off.

1. Any Broken Phone: Recycle It Into a Wallet or Piggy Bank

Most of these tricks are useful if you have an old functional phone. But what if it is a busted old clamshell phone or a broken iPhone? Roll up your sleeves and turn them into the coolest wallet around.
This project requires you to take apart the phone and remove all the gadgetry inside. Of course, you just want the outer case, nothing else. Sites like iFixit will show you how to disassemble anything.

Depending on what phone you have, you can now get creative with using it as a wallet. Instructables has a couple of inspirational guides for this. For example, someone turned a broken iPod Touch into a wallet, while an old shell phone makes a good modern piggy bank for kids.

2. Dumb Phone: Turn It Into a Smartwatch

Do you have an old Nokia or some such Candybar device with a number pad? Then, get ready for the geekiest DIY project of your life. The web’s beloved DIY enthusiast, Tinkernut, has a guide to turning that phone into a modern smartwatch!

It is a difficult one, so we would not suggest this for newbies in the DIY world. You will be taking apart your old phone and using some of its circuitry. You will also need an Arduino board to hack everything together. The recommended version is the Arduino Pro Mini, which costs about $10. The total cost of the parts, apart from the old phone, is less than $50. Not bad for a new smartwatch, which you can proudly show off and say you made yourself.

The question isn’t, “Do you need a smartwatch or not?”. Instead, the question is, “Do you have it in you to make a smartwatch?”.


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