Making an Easy Call

About the author: Jeff Maurer manages Web content and does communications work for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

National Cell Phone Recycling Week is here April 6-12! I’m sure you already knew that – you’ve probably already carved a Cell Phone Recycling Week-O-Lantern and have bought a bunch of Cell Phone Recycling Week fireworks. What’s that? You haven’t? In that case, let me suggest a few ways to celebrate National Cell Phone Recycling Week that will make this the best National Cell Phone Recycling Week ever!

Recycle or donate your old cell phone and accessories at one of the events planned by our Plug in to eCycling partners. Some of the biggest names in telecommunications – including AT&T, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless – are introducing a series of in-store promotions, contests, and giveaways as part of Cell Phone Recycling Week. The partners will provide in-store and online recycling opportunities for consumers, so recycling your cell phone is easier than ever!

Of course, you don’t need to recycle your old cell phone at one of these special events – just be sure to recycle it! Cell phones contain precious metals, copper, and plastics, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling these materials not only conserves resources; it also prevents greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and water pollution. If all of the 100 million cell phones ready for end of life management in the U.S. were recycled, we would save enough energy to power more than 18,500 U.S. households for a year!

Use your current phone to call your parents and have them recycle or donate their old cell phones. I know for a fact that my mom has a couple old cell phones – many the size of a brick – collecting dust in a kitchen drawer. I think I’ll give her a call and let her know how easy it is to recycle her old cell phones.

In order to calm any fears Mom has about data theft, I’ll send her our cell phone recycling flyer (PDF) (1 pg, 433K, about PDF), which includes information about how to clear data from your phone before you donate. I’ll also let her know about free data-erasing tools that are available online.Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

That’s how I plan to celebrate, anyway – if you feel like singing Cell Phone Recycling Week carols or marching in a Cell Phone Recycling Week parade, don’t let me stop you.