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You know anybody who has old cell phones lying around the house?
How would you like to turn that junk into gold -- literally?
It's easy to do.  
Simply recycle them through one of these programs.

AT&T Reuse & Recycle.

A Program for Recycling Wireless Phones, Smartphones, Batteries & Accessories

You shut off the water while brushing your teeth. You hit the office light switches off at the end of the day. You even dig through the trash bin to salvage those recyclable aluminum cans. But when it comes to electronic waste (e-waste), do you know how to reduce waste and safeguard human health and our natural environment? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of the 2.25 million tons of TVs, cell phones and computer products that can be recycled, only 18 percent was collected for recycling and 82 percent was disposed of, primarily in landfills.  While wireless phones comprise just a portion of that e-waste, AT&T and its customers can play an important role in addressing this issue. That is why AT&T has introduced a national recycling program to make recycling easy and accessible for everyone: AT&T Reuse & Recycle.

Basically, the AT&T program makes it as easy as possible for you to send in your phone (after providing instructions on how to erase private information) so they can recycle them and use the funds to buy prepaid phone cards for troops overseas.  A win-win-win, especially around the holidays.

Not an AT&T customer?  No problem.  T-mobile has a program, too.

Mobilize, change powered by people is their program.

If your family has unneeded mobile devices, you can do something good for the environment by partnering with T-Mobile® to recycle them. Your recycled mobile phone will help conserve our precious natural resources. We encourage you and your family to join us in our effort to recycle 1 million phones in 2010.

Need a little extra motivation?  Consider this factoid as we stare a 4C world in the face:  The energy savings from recycling just one mobile phone could power a laptop for 44 hours, and that is before you take into account the gold, paladium, silver and copper that can be recycled from these phones.  Speaking of precious metals, remember conflict metals?  Well now you can help mitigate some of that catastrophe as well.

Helping poor people half a world away not your cup of tea?  Maybe Sprint Project Connect is what you're looking for!

Recycling your cell phones with Sprint Project ConnectSM can make a world of difference for kids and the environment. You’ll be helping to keep millions of phones out of landfills. And the net proceeds from all equipment collected will fund and promote free Internet safety resources for kids.

Sprint Project Connect is a free service for anyone who has wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards that they no longer use. All makes and models are accepted, regardless of carrier or condition.

Like AT&T and T-Mobile, Sprint makes it easy for you to drop off or send in your old equipment.  All net proceeds generated from the sale of equipment collected through Sprint Project Connect go to fund and promote free Internet safety resources for kids, parents, and educators.

Another program is Verizon's Hopeline

HopeLine® from Verizon collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. The phones are then refurbished or recycled in an environmentally sound way. Refurbished phones, complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service, are provided to local domestic violence organizations or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.

Domestic violence touches all of us. Nearly one in four women, one in nine men, and over 3 million children have been affected by domestic violence. Wireless phones and technology can serve as a vital link to emergency or support services in a time of crisis or as a reliable, safe connection to employers, family and friends as survivors rebuild their lives.

These programs are not the result of a spontaneous awakening in corporate executive suites, although their buy-in is critical.  This is an example of your government at work.  It's part of the EPA eCycle Cell Phones program.

Check out the EPA site and you can find links to programs that encourage dropping off the phones at stores, including:
Staples
Best Buy
Office Depot

Now that we're talking big box stores, we don't even have to limit ourselves to cell phones.  Here's what Best Buy says:

Regardless of where you bought it, what brand it is, or how old it is: bring it to us. We'll make sure it's properly and safely recycled. It's all part of our Greener Together™ program.

And we'll take just about anything electronic, including TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, audio and video cables, cell phones, and more. Most things are recycled absolutely free, with a few restrictions.

What are you waiting for?  Christmas?  

Originally posted to 8ackgr0und N015e on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM PST.

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