The web traffic analyst said Envirofone, Mazuma Mobile and Fonebank , all of which offer financial incentives up to £200 in return for the old handsets were the three most popular mobile phone recycling sites with web surfers in the UK.
Robin Goad, director of research at Hitwise, said: "UK internet searches for terms such as 'recycle mobile phones for cash' and 'recycling for cash' have quadrupled over the last 12 months. Given the sums on offer, it is perhaps no surprise that cash-strapped Britons are choosing to make some extra money during the recession by selling their unused mobile phones".
"Overall, UK internet searches for recycling have increased by 70 percent over the last year, but that growth has been almost entirely due to the increase in searches for mobile phone recycling. Mobile phone related searches now account for 75 percent of all search queries relating to the recycling of specific items or materials, up from 45 percent a year ago."
See all mobile phone reviews
See also: Only 50% of Brits recycle old technology