Recycle Your Cell Phone
Recycle Your Cell Phone. It’s An Easy Call.
As cell phones, computers, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) become more prominent in our everyday lives,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking steps to encourage consumers to recycle these
products instead of adding them to our nation’s landfills. As part of this initiative, EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling
program has teamed up with leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to launch a national
campaign encouraging Americans to recycle or donate their unwanted cell phones. The “Recycle Your Cell Phone.
It’s An Easy Call” campaign aims to increase the public’s awareness of cell phone recycling and donation
opportunities, with the ultimate goal of increasing the nation’s cell phone recycling rate. Plug-In To eCycling
partners supporting this campaign are: AT&T; Best Buy; LG Electronics; Motorola; Nokia; Office Depot; Samsung;
Sony Ericsson; Sprint; Staples; and, T-Mobile.
To kick off the initiative, the Campaign has released a series of print public service announcements that highlight
the convenience and environmental and social benefits of recycling a cell phone. EPA has also released a series
of downloadable podcasts featuring experts in the electronics recycling field discussing the many ways that
consumers can reuse and recycle their electronics and addressing many common questions and concerns. During
2008, look for the Campaign to host special cell phone collection events and increase publicity for our partners’
recycling programs.
EPA has targeted cell phone recycling because, despite the large number of programs, most consumers still do
not know where or how they can recycle their cell phones. Consequently, less than 20 percent of unwanted cell
phones are recycled each year. Recycling cell phones leads to significant environmental savings and can benefit
communities.
Recycling: an Easy Call - Every day there are thousands of opportunities to recycle cell phones and
accessories. Many cell phone retailers, manufacturers, and service providers have ongoing collection
programs where phones can be dropped off or mailed in—regardless of the age or brand. Some
charitable organizations and state or municipal solid waste programs also offer cell phone recycling. In
most cases, cell phone recycling is free.
Recycling: a Green Call - Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping
useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. Cell phones are made from precious
metals, copper, and plastics—all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling these
materials not only conserves resources, but prevents air and water pollution and greenhouse gas
emissions. In fact, if all of the 100 million cell phones ready for end of life management in the U.S. are
recycled, we could save enough energy to power more than 194,000 U.S. households with electricity
for one year.
Recycling: a Social Call - Donating your cell phone also benefits your community. When cell phones
and accessories are in good working condition, some programs donate them to a number of worthy
charities or provide them for discounted sale to those who need them. In addition, many recycling
programs use the proceeds to raise funds for charitable organizations, schools, churches and other
social causes. In some cases, programs buy the phone back from the consumer.
To learn more, go to www.epa.gov/cellphones .
EPA530-F-07-046
January 2008
Related links:

Mobile telephone history
The First Mobile Phone with a Built-In Camera
Electronics Waste: Recycling of Mobile Phones
What to do with your old phones across Europe
Your child’s first smartphone
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