We get a lot of cell phones donated to us. We don’t use them. They get taken to Good Will. We do not check to see if you have removed your information correctly. They might end up separated from their charger before we hustle them out of here, which makes them useless for anything but scrap. And please note, the options for old phones are poor.
So what to do?
Here are some ideas for your old phone:
• Keep it charged and use it as emergency 911 phone, since carriers are required by law to allow 911 phone calls (or donate it to a local homeless shelter for the same purpose. )
• Make a robot controller
• Type your model into a search engine along with the word hack or make or project(s) or clever and see what comes up.
• You can give a shot to learning how to send a text from your Arduino. (I would probably not demote my current phone for this, but choose the GSM/GPS shield because I like to make projects that others can more easily reproduce)
If you are just going to strip your old phone for parts or give it away, there are some organizations who could really use your phone as a phone. For example the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Many other charities that I looked into actually sell the phones to get money from them being scrapped. You can sell your phone too to someone one like EcoATM. If the phone has “zero value” those services may not keep it out of a third world incinerator. If the EcoATM says your phone has zero value, better to hold on to it and try to find a e-Steward certified disposal option like Call2Recycle. I’m going to look into becoming a participating site with them, but we aren’t there yet.