Got an old cell phone stashed away in a drawer collecting dust? Nowâ€™s your chance to do something about it, since this is National Cell Phone Recycling Week. (Yes, there is a week for everything.Â Now pay attention.)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with major cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to encourage you to recycle or donate those unwanted cell phones. And there are a lot of them. Only about 10 percent of unwanted cell phones are recycled, according to the latest EPA stats.
Partners in the â€œPlug-In To eCyclingâ€™s National Cell Phone Recycling Week 2009,” include AT&T, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Some will accept old phones at the stores. Some will also accept them by mail. To find out how you can donate and where, CLICK HERE.
Before donating your phone, EPA suggests you:
- Terminate service
- Clear the phoneâ€™s memory by hitting the reset button or use a data erasing tool online, such as the free one at www.recellular.com/recycling/data_eraser
- Remove remove the SIM card
Recycling stats to chew on:
- If cell phones cannot be reused, the components are nearly 100% recyclables
- 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
- Last year Plug-in partners collected 11 million cell phones for reuse and recycling