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Ralf Jurrien : March 29th 2007 - 16:33 CET

Cell phone recycling on earth day


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NewsCell phone recycling on earth day : ReCellular is encouraging Americans to clean out their closets and recycle their cell phones on April 22, in honor of Earth Day. One in three Americans will replace their cell phones this year, with the majority of these added to the estimated 500 million unused cell phones waiting to be either recycled or discarded. “Many people instinctively know they shouldn’t throw their old phones away, but don’t know what to do with them,” says Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular. “We’re working to change that, and ultimately want consumers to automatically think of recycling their phones just like they currently do with paper, plastic or glass.”
Cell phone recycling on earth dayReCellular - Cell phone recycling
ReCellular expects to collect 4 million phones in 2007, with support from retailers, charity groups and grassroots organizations. These partners create a nationwide network of more than 40,000 sites that collect cell phones of every make, model and age - enabling consumers to recycle their old phones safely and conveniently. ReCellular pays up to $50 for each donated phone, with proceeds benefiting charities such as the March of Dimes, Cell Phones for Soldiers, and domestic violence prevention and education programs. Consumer information, including a list of donation sites and prepaid shipping labels for donations, is available at the web site.

Cell phone recycling
“Our greatest challenge is consumer awareness,” says Newman. “We know more people would recycle if they knew the simple act of dropping their old phone in a collection box benefited both the environment and a worthy cause like March of Dimes.” Approximately half of the phones ReCellular collects will be reused - considered the ultimate form of recycling. Functional phones are reconditioned and reprogrammed before being sold to wholesalers from more than 40 countries. Phones that cannot be resold are dismantled and recycled. ReCellular expects to recycle 1 million pounds of scrap phones and accessories this year, working with recycling partners to reclaim valuable materials, including:

Cell phone recycling - Numbers
• 150,000 pounds of copper: ReCellular will recycle an estimated 450 miles of phone chargers, containing enough to replace the copper shell of the Statue of Liberty, twice.
• $630,000 worth of precious metals: ReCellular will recycle over 1 million circuit boards, each containing an average of $0.63 of precious metals, not factoring the cost of recovery, according the US Geological Survey. By this estimate, the 500 million phones available for recycling contain $314 million worth of rare metals.





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