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Sprint urges consumers to recycle wireless phones


- Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility
“With more than 140 million cell phones discarded every year in the United States, Sprint is working to combat waste and increase the recycling of electronics.”


•    America Recycles Day is Nov. 15. Marking its 12th year, this is a national initiative that encourages consumers to recycle and buy recycled products.
•    Sprint has a series of recycling programs, including Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project Connect.
•    Sprint is making progress and has set aggressive goals of eventually collecting for reuse and recycling 9 phones for every 10 we sell.

Inside Look: Sprint's wireless recycling operations

Steve Hood of Sprint's Logistics team describes how Sprint works with UPS at a facility in Louisville, Ky., to receive and then process used wireless devices so they can be used again or be taken apart and recycled.

How you can help:

•    Sprint Buyback -- Sprint customers may return eligible Sprint or Nextel devices in exchange for an account credit. Customers can participate in the Sprint Buyback program by going to, calling toll-free (866) 364-5680 or by going to any of the more than 1,100 Sprint-owned retail stores nationwide.

•    Sprint Project Connect – Sprint accepts all wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition. Free postage-paid envelopes are available at any Sprint-owned retail store and come in the box with most new phones sold by Sprint. Free postage-paid mailing labels are also available at

•    All net proceeds generated from the wireless equipment collected by Sprint Project Connect help keep kids safer online through Sprint’s 4NetSafetySM program. Charitable partners include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Boys & Girls Club of America and the NEA Health Information Network.

Why Recycle Your Old Phone?

•    About 4 billion cell phones are in use around the world
•    Consumer recycling is low – the current recycle rate in the United States is estimated at 10%
•    That results in about 140 million phones discarded each year and 65,000 pounds of e-waste in our landfills
•    Recycling your old phone helps keep e-waste out of landfills and when reused conserves the virgin materials and energy needed to manufacture a new phone

Sprint commitment to sustainability:

•    Sprint has set an aggressive, industry-first goal of reaching a 90 percent phone collection rate for reuse/recycling compared with annual wireless device sales by 2017. That would mean that Sprint collects for reuse and recycling 9 phones for every 10 it sells.
•    Since 2001 Sprint has collected more than 18 million handsets, diverting them from landfills and raising nearly $7 million for charity.
•    Sprint recently ranked highest among all telecom companies and No. 15 overall on Newsweek’s Green Rankings.
•    Sprint continues to develop new, eco-friendly products and accessories such as the Samsung Reclaim, which is made partly from bio-plastic and the SOLIO Solar Charger.

More information:

•    Sprint Wireless Recycling

•    America Recycles Day