Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · 3:33 p.m.
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Consumers have several options to recycle and trade in cellphones. (Photo: Contributed)

AT&T is offering a cellphone recycling program that incentivizes customers to return old phones and help offset the cost of a new device. 

"Today, more than ever, too many mobile devices that are integral to our lives end up in junk drawers or the trash as soon as we’re able to upgrade to newer models," AT&T spokeswoman Cathy Lewandowski said via email. "They shouldn’t. These devices have value." 

In the past two years, AT&T leaders have collected more than 6.5 million cellphones for reuse and recycling. 

The average customer received more than $80 for their device, Lewandowski said. 

AT&T trade-in program

Step 1: Wipe the personal data from your device, following the steps at www.att.com/ecospace, and restore your device to factory settings.

Step 2: Bring your old devices to any company-owned store. A representative will calculate the trade-in value based on make, model and condition.

Step 3: Choose to use your credit to buy new AT&T wireless products, pay your bill or donate to AT&T’s supported Cell Phones for Soldiers organization.

"The AT&T Trade-In Program lets AT&T customers turn in old wireless phones and tablets to receive an AT&T promotion card," she said. "The card can be used to offset the cost of some of the latest wireless devices, purchase of other AT&T products and services, or the value can be donated to an AT&T-designated charity."

Customers who have old phones can see an in-store representative, who can determine the value of the phone, she also said. 

Leaders determine the trade-in value by analyzing the device's make, model and condition. 

AT&T isn't the only place that allows consumers to trade in phones. 

According to Sci-Tech Today, companies such as YouChange, Recellular, YouRenew, BuyMyTronics, MaxBack and Gazelle give cash for used devices and provide prepaid postage for mailing them.

In addition to AT&T, Apple, Best Buy and Verizon offer store credit for trade-ins, also according to Sci Tech Today. 

In some areas across the nation, there are robotic devices that take the phones and dispense cash, Sci Tech Today reported. Consumers can also pick a charity option to give proceeds to a good cause. 

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