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If you have unwanted or broken electronics languishing in drawers at home, you’re not alone. The good news: we can help you do something positive by recycling them (with your data securely wiped, of course)

By Virgin TV Edit

Connectivity and technology are already transforming the way we live our lives, and they have the potential to play a vital role in a greener future.


But we also know the world’s resources are being drained to create more and more electrical devices – contributing to the increasing challenge of e-waste, which is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. Just 20% of e-waste is currently being recycled, with millions of devices still being hoarded in drawers, attics and garages all over the country. Getting these devices back into circulation reduces the need for new ones. 


And you can help get devices back into circulation by clearing out old electronics from drawers, cupboards and garages. It’s a win-win – for you, and for our planet. 


Did you know…

  • You could make money by selling your old devices
  • You could pass a device on to someone who needs it, making a huge difference to their life
  • Simply passing a device on to a family member or friend who could benefit from it, rather than hoarding, gives devices a second life
  • Properly recycling any truly broken items keeps them out of landfill where harmful materials could leach into the ground and waterways


Be part of the solution

This isn’t just on you. We’re committed to achieving zero waste operations and products by 2025 with a series of commitments, including making sure over 95% of operational waste is recycled and ensuring less than 5% goes to incineration. We’ll also take a “reuse first” approach to our branded products and rely less on raw materials in new products.


We can all be part of the solution, together. Your unused devices offer a host of opportunities for you and others. You could make some money. You could provide connectivity opportunities to others. You can ensure that what can be reused is reused by giving these items a second life.


Let’s get into what you can do…


Got a handset you no longer need?

There are options to sell or recycle your old devices (like using O2 Recycle – see below). But have you ever thought about donating it instead? You can pass on your old handset to someone who needs it through Community Calling, our partnership with Hubbub.


According to Ofcom, there are approximately 1.5 million homes in the UK that still don't have access to the internet, while there are also an estimated 28 million smartphones tucked away unused in our homes. You can make a difference by donating your old handset. To be useful to someone, your phone must:


  • Be a smartphone (like an iPhone or Android, for example)
  • Not have a cracked screen or back
  • Be able to hold a charge


If that sounds like your device, we’ll provide instructions on how you can safely remove your data. But for extra peace of mind, our partners will complete a full data wipe and clean before rehoming your device.


Click here to learn what you need to do to your phone to ensure it is secure before donating and to sign up to get a free envelope to donate it.


Got a device to sell?

Did you know that O2 Recycle is open to everyone, not just O2 customers? This platform makes it easy to recycle your old devices for some extra cash. Just search for your smartphone on the O2 Recycle website, add it to your basket and place your order via the checkout. Then you just post off your device, remembering to upload any personal data to your preferred cloud system and remove your SIM or memory card first.


You can also recycle simple mobile phones, tablets, Apple AirPods and wearable electronic devices such as smartwatches. Depending on the model and condition, your devices can be recycled or resold as Like New products, saving them from going to landfill. Simple, sustainability-minded actions that make you some cash? We’re into it.


Find out how much you could receive for your old device here.


Want to buy a refurbished phone this time?

With the best will in the world, at some point, you’ll probably need a new handset. But it doesn’t need to be brand new. With O2’s Like New range of refurbished phones, you can grab the latest and greatest refurbished phones in excellent condition and save up to £200 while reducing your carbon footprint compared to buying new.


Wary of buying a refurbished phone? Rest easy. When you buy a refurbished phone from our Like New range, all the devices are in excellent shape – meaning you won’t see any deep cracks or scratches from previous use. All our refurbished phones go through at least 40 quality checks for everything from scuffed screens and cracked cases to bashed-up buttons to make sure they’re all up to scratch.


Your refurbished phone will arrive with at least 80% battery health too – so you won’t be running out of juice unexpectedly – and for extra peace of mind, all refurbished phones from our Like New range come with a three-year warranty when purchased with a Plus Plan (or a year without). That’s exactly the same as our new phones.


Remember: choosing a refurbished phone means that one fewer phone had to be replaced with a brand new one. And that’s better for the planet. Find out more here.


Wondering what to do with your Virgin TV box, WiFi Hub, WiFi Booster or WiFi Pods?

Our set-top boxes, hubs, boosters and pods can be reused and recycled, but only if they’re returned to us. So whether you’ve changed package, upgraded or are just no longer in need of your Virgin Media kit, please return it to us.


Recycling and reusing our kit will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and benefit the environment. It’s also completely free and reassuringly easy. Learn how to do it here.


Keen that your devices get recycled?

If you’re worried about your device ending up in landfill, another great option to ensure it gets recycled is to simply pop into an O2 store and drop it off. As well as stuff like smartphones and tablets, you can bring in wearables, cables, batteries, chargers and more.


Check out Recycle Now to find out what your local O2 store and other retailers can recycle for you.


Have items that need to be repaired?

Have you heard of The Restart Project? It’s a social enterprise with the idea that every product should be repairable, and that repair and reuse should be accessible and affordable for everyone.


They help people run repair events in their communities where they teach each other how to fix their broken and slow devices – from tablets and toasters to iPhones and headphones. They also run “fixing factories”, which help people repair their things and build repair directories where people can find help near them and train people in repair skills.


Check out their website to find a repair event near you.


Have larger items that you’re unsure what to do with?

The brilliant Recycle Your Electricals – a UK-wide campaign to get the UK reusing and recycling old or unwanted electricals – says that anything with a plug, battery or cable can be reused or recycled.


Its site has lots of advice on how to do this, including advice on battery removal and data wiping (with advice from the Government National Cyber Security Council and We Fight Fraud). You can also find locations to recycle close to where you are. Check it out here.


Why it’s important to get these devices back into circulation


Click on the crosses below to find out more...

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Like New terms and conditions

Savings: The saving is achieved on the total hardware cost of the relevant Like New phone when comparing the price with new. Not all Like New phones will be cheaper than the new equivalent – savings achieved on selected devices only. Compare prices at

Environmental: Purchasing a refurbished phone from our Like New range reduces emissions, uses fewer virgin materials and emits less CO2, compared to buying a new one. For more details, view our Environmental claim substantiation.

Warranty: Selected tariffs only. 3-Year Warranty is lost if you move to an ineligible tariff, upgrade and purchase a new device or SIM Only plan, or fail to pay monthly payments. 3-year period includes any standard manufacturer warranty period. Exclusions apply. Wear and tear, software issues, and accidental, cosmetic or water damage are not covered. For full exclusions and terms see