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Recycling Cell Phones: Easy Way To Ramp Up Earth Day

First Posted: 05/04/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:10 PM ET

Phones

PHILADELPHIA (April 2, 2009) -- From April 6 -- 12 Americans are urged to recycle unused cell phones that have been piling up in junk drawers as part of EPA's Plug-in to eCycling campaign.

As cell phones, computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) become more prominent in our everyday lives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encourages consumers to recycle these products instead of adding them to our nation's landfills.

Cell phones and accessories are made from valuable materials such as precious metals, copper, and plastics - all of which require energy to extract and manufacture. Recycling cell phones results in environmental savings.Recycling cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves natural resources. There is also a strong secondary market for used cell phones and for donation to charitable organizations. If cell phones cannot be reused, the components are nearly 100 percent recycleable. Currently, only about 10 percent of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year. Last year Plug-in partners collected 11 million cell phones for reuse and recycling.

Recycling cell phones can save enough energy to power more than 2,035 U.S. households for a year. Recycling the 100 million cell phones that are no longer used annually would save enough energy to power more than 18,000 households for a year.

EPA has teamed up with leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to launch this national campaign to encourage Americans to recycle or donate their unwanted cell phones. Partners include AT&T, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

Contact your local retailer for details or go to: www.rbrc.org or www.earth911.org to locate cell phone and rechargeable battery drop-off sites at a retailer near you. For more information on eCycling go to www.epa.gov/ecycling

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Filed by Dave Burdick  |