Recycling cell phones is one of the easiest ways you can protect the planet.
• Leave it behind when you buy a new phone. Sprint, Verizon,T-Mobile, AT&T, Nokia, and Motorola all participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Plug in to e-cycling” program and will accept any cell phone or PDA at any of their retail outlets.
• Take it to Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, or Radio Shack. Most outlets will have a box you can drop your phone in with absolutely no hassle.
* Send it to Collective Good, a company that refurbishes the phones, re-sells them, and shares the profits with the charity of your choice. Address:
Collective Good International
Include Charity Code
5763 ARAPAHOE AVE STE G
Boulder, CO 80303-1350
Why bother? Every week, 3 million cell phones are thrown away. More than 1 billion used mobile phones clutter our shelves, take up space in our drawers or worse – are decaying in landfills.
Cell phones are constructed with a host of heavy metals – like antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc – that can pollute ground water and potentially cause cancer. Recovering those metals for re-use keeps them out of the environment and makes them available for reuse in other electronics manufacturing.
Have an APPLE I-Phone or IPOD you need to unload? Apple’s Recycling Program provides prepaid mailing label you can download from the company website.
Recycle used phone batteries, too. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Coalition links to 50,000 locations, including Target, Lowe's Home Depot and Office Max.
Want more ways to recycle your phone? Here are 50, courtesy of VOIP.
Research by Rachel Goglia