Verizon Wants to Recycle Your Old Phones

Valentine's Day seems an odd time to get environmentally responsible, but Verizon has done just that. The carrier has just announced a new nationwide trade-in disposal program for its old handsets and is giving away gift cards in exchange.

Any Verizon customer can turn in a used mobile at the company's stores or kiosks. There Verizon staff will evaluate the mobile for its make, model, and condition, then issue a Verizon gift card that can be used immediately. What's more, the card's balance can also be used to pay monthly bills, not just new merchandise. According to the carrier, certain phone models can fetch up to $300—though I doubt I'll get that much for my old StarTac. All trade-ins will be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, according to the company.

If you are feeling magnanimous, you can also donate the phone's value to Verizon's ongoing HopeLine project. This program redistributes used cellphones and unclaimed minutes to victims of domestic violence.

I'm curios as to how the valuation prices from Verizon stack up against those of online trade-in sites like Gazelle or Flipswap especially since it does have the advantage of immediate payouts rather than making you wait 2-4 weeks for a posted check. [VZW via IntoMobile]