The holidays are right around the corner and it looks like pretty much everyone wants a new phone for Christmas. The only problem is that new plans have made upgrading more complicated than ever and getting a new phone is almost never cheap. Plus, you have to figure out what to do with the stack of old phones piling up in that desk drawer.

Devices are upgraded so quickly and by so many people that they’re rapidly filling up dumps and creating unnecessary waste and pollution that can be easily avoided. According to Landfill-Site, it’s estimated that a whopping 70 percent of heavy metals in landfills are a result of discarded devices even though electronics only represent 2 percent of America’s trash.

Thankfully, companies are taking the initiative to make it easier and more rewarding for people to recycle their old devices. At Verizon Wireless, you can get paid for recycling your old mobile phone. Customers are able to find out how much their device is worth ahead of time and mail off their old phone in a prepaid box at no cost to themselves. Then, all you have to do sit back and wait for the check (or gift card) to come in.

When you recycle your old cell phone, you’re not only cutting down on potentially dangerous waste in landfills but also helping to provide important reusable materials. This means less metals that have to be mined out of the ground so you get to save the planet twice with just one cell phone.

Toss in some extra cash that can go toward your upgrade or some important gifts and there’s no reason not to recycle.

Guest post by Tom Harkness