RBRC’s Call2Recycle program gives cell phone owners an easy way to turn in used cell phones, which will then be recycled or resold to benefit charities
NEW YORK, April 22, 2004 – By 2005, roughly 200 million cell phones will be in use in the United States, and approximately 130 million phones will be retired each year, according to INFORM. A survey conducted by Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit public service organization dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries, reveals that more than 70% of respondents are unaware that cell phones are recyclable, though nearly 90% indicated they would do so if provided with convenient drop-off points.
RBRC’s Call2Recycle™, the first nationwide cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program, aims to give cell phone users the ability to do just that. Call2Recycle features more than 30,000 collection locations across the nation where consumers can drop off old cell phones, whether the phones are in working condition or not. The rechargeable batteries in the phones will be recycled through RBRC’s existing retail channels. Cell phones collected through the Call2Recycle program will be refurbished, recycled or resold when possible by ReCellular, Inc., with a portion of proceeds to be donated to national charities.
“Our survey showed that Americans are ready and willing to help the environment by donating their used cell phones. Until now, most of them just didn’t know how,” said Ralph Millard, executive vice president, RBRC. “Call2Recycle will remove additional electronic waste from the nation’s landfills while benefiting charity. Participation is easy and free, and will greatly help the environment.”
Consumers looking for more information on how to recycle used cell phones are encouraged to call 1-877-2-RECYCLE or log on to wwwcall2recycle.org.
RBRC’s recent survey of over 1,000 Americans revealed some startling statistics.
- The average American adult owns a total of 2.4 cell phones.
- More than 26% of those surveyed own 3 or more cell phones.
- More than 56% of those surveyed still have their old cell phones.
- Only 2.3% of those surveyed recycled their old cell phones.
- More than 70% of those surveyed were unaware that cell phones could be recycled.
- Nearly 90% of those surveyed would be more likely to recycle or donate old cell phones if provided with a convenient drop-off location.
By April 22, 2004, the Call2Recycle national infrastructure will be in place, with all-in-one cell phone and battery collection boxes shipped to 30,000 participating retailers. Cell phones and rechargeable batteries can be collected in the same box. A national promotional campaign, including public service announcements (PSAs) starring Richard Karn, “Al” from Home Improvement and host of Family Feud appears on NBC’s Today Show April 21-23 as well as broadcast in Times Square on Panasonic’s jumbo screen.
A Call2Recycle kickoff event is scheduled at Grand Central Terminal in New York, NY on April 22. Commuters can drop off their old cell phones between 8 AM and 7 PM and register to win free MetroCards. Richard Karn will be on hand for autographs from noon to 2 PM. Commissioner Bob Kulikowski, Director of Environmental Coordination from the Office of the Mayor will make an announcement recognizing RBRC’s recycling efforts.
Kickoff celebrations continue in our nation’s capital on April 23 at the National Geographic Society Headquarters. Danny Seo, environmentalist, author of CONSCIOUS STYLE HOME and editor-at-large of Organic Style magazine will demonstrate on how to recycle ordinary household products. Volunteers will be on hand to collect used cell phones.
Since 1994, RBRC has collected more than 22 million lbs. of rechargeable batteries – those found in a growing list of portable electronics products including cell phones, power tools, cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders and remote control toys.
Call2Recycle is the industry’s first and only product stewardship program for rechargeable batteries. The nonprofit program is administered by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a public service organization dedicated to rechargeable battery recycling. There are more than 30,000 Call2Recycle drop-off locations throughout the United States and Canada. More than 175 manufacturers and marketers of portable rechargeable batteries and products show their commitment to conserve natural resources and prevent rechargeable batteries from entering the solid waste stream by funding the Call2Recycle program. In pursuit of its mission, Call2Recycle also collects old cell phones, which are either recycled or refurbished and resold when possible with a portion of the proceeds benefiting select charities. For more information, call 877-2-RECYCLE or visit www.call2recycle.org.