Skyrocketing Worldwide Sales of New Cell Phones Will Present a Significant Environmental Challenge for Years to Come

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But the CEO of a company that recycles and re-markets old cell phones says people have options for dealing responsibly with their old phones.

With mobile phone sales projected to exceed one billion by 2009, the challenge of what to do with the old handsets they replace becomes more critical, the CEO of a company that recycles and re-markets old cell phones said today.

"We are already becoming more and more aware of the dangers of sending so many old cell phones to landfills, where they represent a serious pollution hazard," said James Mosieur, chief executive officer of RMS Communications Group Inc. "But the projections for new cell phone sales throughout the remainder of the decade are staggering – they tell us that we are going to have to be very serious about the environmental implications of electronic waste."

According to a study released by the research group Gartner, the cell phone is about to become the single most common consumer electronics device, with around 2.6 billion people using cell phones by the year 2009. Gartner projects that 1.04 billion cell phones will be sold in that year, compared to about 779 million sold this year.

"The mobile phone is the most prolific consumer device on the planet," said Ben Wood, a Gartner analyst.

Gartner's initial projection for 2005 was 29 million phones fewer than the 779 million figure. The company changed its projection upward because of stronger-than-expected sales, much of them driven by strong demand in developing markets and by consumers replacing old handsets with more sophisticated models.

While the sales projections are sobering from an environmental point of view, Mosieur is optimistic that pollution from e-waste need not become a serious problem as long as the public becomes increasingly aware of the options available for re-using and recycling old cell phones.

"While there is a huge market for new cell phones with all the latest features and capabilities, there is also a tremendous market throughout the world for used cell phones that may not have all the latest features but which are still serviceable and which provide wireless communications at low cost," Mosieur said. "That means many used cell phones have good market value and can be sold to companies like ours."

Mosieur's company pays cash for used cell phones. Phones that do not have market value are accepted anyway and are recycled in an environmentally responsible fashion.

Some of the used cell phones are donated to law enforcement agencies and social service agencies for use as 911 emergency phones.

RMS Communications Group Inc., a Florida-based company, has been in the used cell phone recycling business since the mid-1990s. It operates a number of web sites that people can use to sell their old phones: http://www.WirelessFundraiser.com, which helps non-profit organizations gather and sell old phones for cash; http://www.CellForCash.com, for consumers; and http://www.RecycleForUS.com, a national environmental initiative.

About RMS Communications Group Inc.

Based in Ocala, Fla., RMS Communications Group Inc. provides consumers and businesses a convenient way to get cash for cell phones that otherwise lay idle. Phones may qualify regardless of manufacturer – Motorola, Nokia, LG, etc.; or service provider - Sprint, Verizon, Cingular, T-Mobile, etc. The company often partners with non-profit organizations that find the collection and sale of old cell phones to be an excellent source of revenue. More information can be found at http://www.RMSComm.com.

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