As part of its efforts to celebrate Earth Day during the entire month of April, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency has launched National Cell Phone Recycling Week, April 6 through April 12. This joint effort between EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling program and leading cell phone manufacturers, retailers and service providers increases national awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling.
For regional recycling information, the EPA suggests the following sites:
• Californian residents can locate where to recycle electronic waste at www.erecycle.org.
• Nevada residents can visit www.ndep.nv.gov/ewaste/index.htm.
• Arizona residents can visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/solid/recycle2.html
• Hawaii residents can visit http://hawaii.gov/health/environmental/waste/sw/hedrp/hedrp.html
If Americans recycled the 100 million cell phones that are no longer being used, enough energy would be saved to power more than 18,500 homes for a year. To celebrate National Cell Phone Recycling Week, Plug-In partners across the country, including AT&T, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, are introducing a series of in-store promotions, contests, and giveaways. The partners will provide in-store and online recycling opportunities for consumers.
“With Earth Day approaching, people are thinking about what they can do to give back to our planet,” said Matt Hale, director of EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. “Recycling your old cell phone is a great way to conserve resources and help make a greener world.”
With only 10 percent of unwanted cell phones being recycled in 2007, EPA is encouraging consumers to increase the nation’s cell phone recycling rate. Recycling or reusing cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping reusable materials out of landfills. Cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are made of precious metals, copper, and plastics. Recycling or reusing them not only conserves these materials, it also prevents air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that occur during manufacturing and when extracting and processing virgin materials.
Donating cell phones or PDAs can also have social benefits for communities. In fact, many existing recycling programs donate cell phones that are in good working order to worthy charities, raise funds for charitable organizations, or provide them for discounted sale.
Plug-In To eCycling is a voluntary partnership between EPA and electronics manufacturers, retailers, and service providers to offer consumers more opportunities to donate or recycle their used electronics. In 2007, as part of their commitment to the program, retailers and electronics manufacturers voluntarily recycled more than 47 million pounds of electronics, mostly computers and televisions.
Information about EPA’s Plug-In to eCycling program: http://www.epa.gov/plugin
Information about cell phone recycling: http://www.epa.gov/cellphones