Cell Phone Recycling Makes for a "Green" Holiday Season

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ReCellular estimates more than 50 million cell phones will be purchased this holiday season. Consumers can help the environment by donating their old phones to a cell phone recycling program.

Fortunately, almost every major wireless provider and retailer across the country now offers no-cost cell phone recycling programs. Alternatively, consumers can go to ReCellularTradeIn.com, and redeem their old phones for Best Buy digital dollars -- putting some green in their pockets as well as benefiting the environment.

An estimated 50 million wireless phones will be purchased this holiday season, making the wireless phone one of the hottest gifts of the season. It also makes the wireless phone one of the greatest opportunities to make this a "Green" holiday season.

Many of the phones sold this season will be replacements or upgrades for existing phones. ReCellular, one of the world's largest cell phone recycling companies, estimates that recycling 50 million phones and accessories would reclaim:

A year's supply of gasoline for 50,000 vehicles: According to The Use Less Stuff Report, reuse of cell phones would save the equivalent of 37.5 million gallons of gasoline. That's enough to fuel 50,000 vehicles, averaging 20 mpg, to travel 15,000 miles per year.

$31.5 million worth of precious metals: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, each wireless phone circuit board contains $0.63 -- not factoring the cost of recovery -- of gold, platinum, silver, palladium and copper.

1,563 tons of copper: 50 million phone chargers, each five and half feet long, would stretch wrap the Earth's equator, twice, and contain enough copper wiring to replace the Statue of Liberty's copper shell, 50 times.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of phones retired this season will be stored in drawers -- joining the estimated 500 million phones already waiting to be 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 Chuck Newman, CEO and President of ReCellular. "Fortunately, almost every major wireless provider and retailer across the country now offers no-cost cell phone recycling programs. Alternatively, consumers can go to ReCellularTradeIn.com, and redeem their old phones for Best Buy digital dollars -- putting some green in their pockets as well as benefiting the environment."

ReCellular is the country's largest cell phone recycling company with more than 50,000 collection sites including retail stores, charity groups and grassroots organizations. These partners create a nationwide network that collects cell phones of every make, model and age -- enabling consumers to recycle their old phones safely and conveniently.

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 and accessories that cannot be resold are dismantled and sent to cell phone recycling partners for reclamation. ReCellular's Zero Waste Policy recycles every item received. In addition to circuit boards, phone chargers, and plastic accessories, the ISO 140001 Certified recycling program reclaims nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs; paper and cardboard shipping materials; and even leather and vinyl materials from phone carrying cases.

ReCellular's successful business model for extracting value from discarded phones through recycling and refurbishing recently earned the company recognition as one of Inc. Magazine's "Green 50" companies that are driving the green revolution in business.

ReCellular recently was named to the charter advisory board of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, a joint effort between the Graham Foundation and the University of Michigan to encourage education and research in environmental sustainability. ReCellular is also a member of the Michigan Recycling Coalition and the National Recycling Coalition.

About ReCellular, a global leader in cell phone recycling
With offices in the United States, Hong Kong, and Brazil, ReCellular Inc. is the world's foremost collector, reseller and recycler of used wireless phones and accessories. We provide solutions for the collection, reuse and recycling of used personal electronics that generate financial return for our partners, quality products for our customers, funding for charity organizations, and protection of the environment. Corporate and wholesale information is available at ReCellular.com. Consumer information, including collection sites and charity fundraising details, is available at WirelessRecycling.com.

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Monte Doran