Recycle Old Cell Phones
The average North American gets a new cell phone every eighteen to twenty-four months, making old phones—many which contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, and arsenic—the fastest growing type of manufactured garbage in the nation. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans discard 125 million phones each year, creating 65,000 tons of waste.Luckily, a new breed of electronics recyclers is stepping in to help. Call2Recycle, a nonprofit organization, offers consumers and retailers in the U.S. and Canada simple ways to recycle old phones. Consumers can enter their zip code on the group’s website and be directed to a drop box in their area. Most major electronics retailers, from Radio Shack to Office Depot, participate in the program and offer Call2Recycle drop-boxes in their stores. Call2Recycle recovers the phones and sells them back to manufacturers, which either refurbish and resell them or recycle their parts for use in making new products.