Last year, Americans turned in 11.7 million used cell phones, because recycling phones, PDAs, chargers, and batteries is so simple — easier than buying a phone.
Still, an estimated 58 million cell phones are rattling around in drawers or boxes, no longer being used. Here are some great options to spur you to finally turn them in…
With fun contests and educational campaigns, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with mobile phone companies is encouraging more people to turn in their phones for recycling this year.
They’ve published a list of links describing each company’s various recycling projects, most offering drop-off boxes at their stores. (Click here for the EPA effort)
Samsung is partnering with schools to offer prizes for the ones who collect the most phones. They estimate the program will reach 5.6 million students in 7,000 middle and high schools.
There are lots of options that support your favorite causes. Charities can use your working cell phones or PDA’s to benefit people like battered women, the elderly or disabled, like Cell Phones for Life.
Your broken phones can be sold by charities to benefit endangered species or rainforests. The devices are made of precious metals, copper, and plastics, all of which are valuable to people, yet deadly for the environment when these toxins are leaching into landfills. Many local zoos have recycle drop boxes on site that help fund animal protection.
Most good programs provide free postage labels for shipping, like this Earthworks project: recyclemycellphone.org
You can even donate your cell phone to a soldier. Since 2004, teens Brittany and Robbie Bergquist and their Cell Phones for Soldiers have raised millions of dollars to help the troops call home. Proceeds from donated phones are used to purchase prepaid calling cards for US troops at cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Finally, if you need some extra money, many programs offer cash for modern phones that still work. A Google search turns up hundreds of choices.
If you are the UK, you can check out this site: sellyourmobile.info
UK folks who want to help the rainforest can check out: www.rainforestconcern.org/how_can_i_help/recycling
. . . So, now there are no more excuses. Recycle today!