Recycle Your Old Cell Phone This Earth Day

Tech News Daily suggests that instead of planting a tree for Earth Day this year, consider recycling that old cell phone taking up space in your desk drawer.

All of the major U.S. cell phone carriers have recycling programs, and your discarded phone could end up being of use to someone else.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are 1 billion unused phones in U.S. households and 130 million additional phones will be discarded every year.

Cell phone recycling or “reprocessing” as industry experts like to say, may mean the cell phone is refurbished and then resold, or dismantled and used for parts. In some cases, phones are reduced to their essential components and reused. The goal is alwayws “zero-landfill,” meaning no part of a device is discarded in a landfill.

The most compelling reuse stories are the ones where people benefit from the availability of affordable smartphones. e-Recycling co-founder David Edmondson whose firm handles the Sprint program said that buying a smartphone in India represents the same portion of a paycheck as buying a car in the U.S. Refurbished smartphones offer access to the Internet that would otherwise be unobtainable.

“It can really be a life changer,” Edmondson said.

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