How can I reuse or recycle old telephones?

telephone250.jpgWe’ve had an email from Sally Harrop, asking for ideas for recycling or reusing “normal” telephones:

By which I mean land line telephones. I have an ordinary handset and an old battery driven cordless phone (which must have dodgy innards) neither of which work now.

We are inundated by requests for old mobiles, usually because someone is making a buck somewhere, but I can’t find anything about recycling/safe disposal of not-mobile phones (except for large quantities – tonnes – from offices). Any ideas?

(Photo by Jay_kumar)

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39 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old telephones?”

  1. Sarah says:

    These phones are more useful than they might first appear – after storms, when the power is out, and cells don’t work, these older phones WORK. (The ones that don’t need to be plugged into both the phone jack and the power – just the phone jack.)

    If you have an extra – they make great toddler toys.

    • Ruti says:

      Be careful about the wires though, as they could cause strangulation- maybe for older children to play with though.

  2. Trish says:

    I have a friend who decorates them with paint, beads, etc and ebays them.

  3. Barry says:

    Send them to Oxfam, if anyone is going to make a buck out of old phones it should be them, they have a specific scheme for mobile phones. The address to send them to is:

    Oxfam Bring Bring Scheme
    Freepost LON16281
    WC1N 3BR

  4. Kayleigh says:

    recycle mobile phones now .. !
    bye .. x

  5. Hi I collect and restore old telephones. If you have any old rotary dial British telephones I would be interested in buying them off you so I can restore/recycle them. Regards Karen

    • Grahame Robertson says:


      I’ve been a long time collector of telephones and want to move my collection on to others now. I’m attending the NAtional Communications Fair in Warwickshire in May and hope to sell quite a few. However I’m sure I will be left with some that won’t sell there – Possibly GPO 700s, and I wondered if you’d be interested in them since you restore them – I have restored many of them to a reasonable standard already. I cannot bear the thought of taking them to the local tip, but that may have to be their final resting place if I can’t find a home for them. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Best regards,

      Grahame Robertson.

    • Sadhia Mohammed says:

      Hi there,

      I have several old BT telephones that I would like to sell, some of these work and the the others need repaires. Let me know if you are interested.


      • joe teasdale says:

        Hi what models are your bt phones please? im after a bt freelance 100 or 200 cordless phone
        thanks joe Teasdale

  6. Fishcake says:

    What about putting one in the garden on a wall or something just to confuse people into thinking you have a garden phone lol.
    Or asking if your local school or drama club wants them for art classes or props for plays etc?

  7. ane vegane says:

    telephones are a mic and a speaker. you can used them as a dj-headphone/mic to a soundsystem!

  8. Stella-Rae says:

    Hi I got 5 old broken phones I just want to know where I can send them to be recycled and how much I will get for doing so?

  9. Stella-Rae says:

    Hi I got 5 old broken phones I just want to know where I can send them to be recycled and how much I will get for doing so?.

  10. claire says:

    people sell the old rotary dial and any of the princess style phones at swap meets. It’s a nostalgia thing…

  11. Stefania says:

    same question – I’ve got a Panasonic which requires some maintenance work I’m not prepared to do. Where can I send it to? There used to be a YMCA charity shop in Kenstington Church Street , London, which took electrical waste, but that’s gone recently. Can anyone help?

    pls email me

  12. Giselle says:

    Telephone can be recycle, try visit

  13. Melinda Goodick says:

    A recent ice storm in this area took down electric lines, but not some telephone lines. These old land-line phones that don’t need electrical plug-in were great. Otherwise, many had no phone service either. It’s worth having one around, just in case.

  14. jenn says:

    check out how the telephone has been partially recycled

    PS: I love this site!

  15. Paul J Krueger says:

    I have 3 old non working land phones. Where is there a place to go to recycle them. Is there any place besides the trash can?

  16. Margaret Lafferty says:

    Cant believe there is nowhere that will take old cordless phones, surely there must be someone somewhere, it seems almost everything can be recylced apart from ordinary phones, all the websites are interested in are mobile phones. would love to know if anyone can advise if they know anywhere, as am loath to put them in the bin as dont know whats components are inside them.

  17. deepika says:

    i too want to know if we can recycle telephones.plzzzzz any 1 help

  18. Karen says:

    I want to donate my old landline phones. How do I get the old numbers and names off the phonebook feature? I no longer have any landline service.

  19. There are plenty of places that will be happy to take/buy your old land line phones. Just search on Google for “Buy Vintage Telephones”.

  20. joe teasdale says:

    Hi does anyone have or know where I can get a bt freelance 100 or 200 cordless phone from the 1990s I collect old bt phones and im having a job trying to find that one

  21. andrew says:

    I find some cordless phones have batteries that can b used for kids toys ,the beauty being ehen they drain ,pop em back in the phone snd just recharge them..

  22. frankburns says:


  23. joe teasdale says:

    Hi does anyone know where i can get a bt freelance 100 code 870516 and a bt freelance ll code 870460 from please
    thanks joe teasdale

  24. joe teasdale says:

    Hi what makes are the telephones and do they work ok im after a bt freelance code 870549
    thanks joe

  25. joe teasdale says:

    Hi does anyone have an old white bt freelance cordless phone code 870459 please let me know
    thanks joe teasdale

  26. Kat Lloyd says:


    I work for a really small charity (there’s only 4 of us) and we’re looking for somewhere where we can get access to free donated landline phones. Does anyone know of anywhere that offers that please?


  27. joe teasdale says:

    Hi does anyone have an old bt freelance cordless phone from 1990 870459 pin code please can it come with a manual
    thanks joe teasdale

  28. joe teasdale says:

    Hi does anyone have an old white bt freelance cordless phone code 870459 and an original bt freelance cordless phone manual tpu 1360 1990 i really need them please thanks joe

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