US EPA takes up cell phone recycling campaign

Published: Friday 15 February 2008

The us Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with the country's leading cell phone manufacturers, service providers and retailers to motivate users to recycle their old cell phones and other handheld devices. The move is part of the agency's year-long campaign: Plug-In to eCycling.

Launched on January 8, the campaign will help raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by cell phone components and inform people about existing recycling programmes. Though cell phones contain small amounts of metals and chemicals, their accumulated volume is a problem. According to the agency estimates, in the us alone about 150 million cell phones are taken out of service each year, of which less than 20 per cent are recycled. The agency says it is spending us $175,000 on the campaign because, despite several efforts, most users do not know where and how to recycle their unwanted cell phones.

Reusing 100 million cell phones would save enough energy to power more than 370,000 us homes each year. Besides, recycling a cell phone offers an opportunity for everyone to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators, and conserve natural resources, the agency said in a release.

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