What Should I do with Old Sim Cards

Vector Mobile Cellular Phone Sim Card Chip Isolated on white Background

Sim cards are a huge part of having a phone. They let you text, call, chat and use and access cellular data in ways that other things cannot and do not. They’re fast becoming obsolete as the next generation of technological advances becomes more prevalent.

Sim cards should be thrown away, recycled, or destroyed after they are deactivated. They don’t have much worth after their deactivation and only rarely is recycling able to yield any material back from the sim card. They can be recycled with any other recyclable waste through local sources.

Sim cards are very small and while they are made of a small number of precious materials, unfortunately, it is not usually something that will be able to be drawn back out of the sim card in large amounts.

Recycling Center

Sim cards are very small computer chips that allow users of a cellphone to access a network that then enables a user to send text messages, and connect to a mobile network which would be 3G, 4G, and 5G, and they can also be used to store contacts, messages and even emails on. The majority of the time, they’re primarily used for accessing the network to make calls and send text messages on a mobile network since a cellphone wouldn’t be able to do that without the sim card.

Sim cards are transferrable and usually hold a cellphone number for an individual. This cellphone number is then paid for along with the mobile network through different cellular providers such as AT&T or T-mobile. While they are transferrable, once they are deactivated, a sim card is pretty much useless and it’s simply a process of how to get rid of or use the sim card.

It can go into the regular recycling, but make sure that all information stored on it has been taken off. After that, it simply goes into the recycling like any other piece of computer waste. It’ll be sorted and recycled appropriately and then you won’t have to worry about it after that. If you’re the type to be paranoid about it though, you can make sure it’s unusable before you send it in by destroying it.

SIM cards are collected in a pile, in the background the phone

There are companies that specialize in e-waste, though the majority of the time they cater more towards companies that have a large amount of electronic waste including sim cards from company phones. They will only cater towards bulk orders of sim cards and won’t take solo sim cards. (Source)

Destroying it Yourself

If you’re concerned about the information on the sim card being used for inadvisable activities, there is a simple fix that might be somewhat cathartic and even fun. Destroying the sim card and then putting the remaining pieces into the recycle will help you feel like the sim card can no longer be used even in any other way.

Crushing it with a good hammer is one way to destroy it, though it’s not necessarily the tidiest, it can be extremely satisfying to crush the tiny computer chip almost like you would’ve seen in those spy movies growing up. Plus it has the added benefit of making sure that the sim card isn’t used for anything you wouldn’t want it being used for.

Snapping the card in two similarly destroys it and makes it unusable. If that is difficult to do with just fingers, you can use pliers or some other tool to help to split the chip in two. Right along with that line, you can also shred it. Take a pair of scissors to the chip and cut it like you might cut an expired debit or credit card. Make sure to cut across the gold to render the chip useless. (Source)

Even if this is what feels best to you, there might be other options that don’t involve being so destructive with the minuscule piece of technology.

Keeping It

Open Tray of Micro Sim Card Beside Smartphone. Concept of Change or Swapping To New Sim Card

Sometimes the sim card might even be worth keeping. It can store information directly onto it and while that is helpful, it’s not necessarily the most easily accessible. If the information on the sim card is important enough, keeping the sim card might be a wiser course of action than getting rid of it.

When keeping a sim card, make sure that you have the tools you’ll need to be able to access the sim card. This isn’t too difficult, you’ll just need the ability to place the sim card inside of a phone when you want to access the information on the tiny computer chip.

You can try to store things directly to the sim card and seeing as the computer chip is so small, it can be particularly easy to hide important information, though the storage capacity will be nowhere near as large as a thumb drive or as easily accessible as that alternative way to store information.

If the card holds sentimental value, that’s another reason to keep it, but it won’t really have any purpose besides sitting somewhere and gathering dust for the foreseeable future. It’s not even a great thing to make an art piece out of since the likelihood that you’ll have more than maybe three at a time that isn’t in use is extremely slim. (Source)

Sim Card Buyer

Close-up Of A Person’s Hand Inserting Sim Card In Cellphone

There is another option that has the potential to create revenue. This chance is next to nothing, however, and shouldn’t be something to bank on at all. Selling a sim card. Sim cards are transferrable mostly to other phones. You don’t need a specific Samsung or Apple sim card to have a phone number and the ability to connect to the network.

This doesn’t make selling a sim card easy though, since usually this would be passed between new devices, not new owners. It is still doable but is a much riskier path than any of the previous options for getting rid of or using old sim cards.

Selling the sim card to a verified buyer will also come with the task of moving the subscription of network responsibility over to the new owner and both buyer and seller must be present at the mobile company to complete that transfer of financial responsibility. (Source)

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