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October’s Recycling Project: Cell Phones
Posted By E.B. Boyd On September 30, 2009 @ 5:16 pm In Green Living | 1 Comment
Recycling your cell phone is one of those projects where there’s simply no excuse. Cell phone manufactures, wireless carriers, charities, and others have all made the process so easy, it should barely be an afterthought. That’s good news for me. I’ve got three phones—from three different manufacturers and two different carriers—that need to find new homes.
Step 1: Erase your data
Erasing data can take up to half an hour, which means very few phone recyclers are going to take the time to delete all the contacts, text messages, and photos you have stored in your phone, much less any sensitive information, like bank accounts or passwords. I know this first-hand. I got a refurbished phone once, and, sure enough, it had someone else’s texts on it.
The good news is that Recellular.com  provides data erasing instructions for a slew of phones. You just enter your phone manufacturer, model number, and your email address, and they’ll email you the instructions.
If your phone is not on the list, search the Web site of your phone manufacturer or wireless carrier for instructions.
Step 2: Decide: Recycle, Donate to Charity, or Sell
Decide how much time you want to invest in this process, because there are a zillion options out there.
Some charities, like the Support Network for Battered Women  or your local women’s shelter, give your phones directly to people who need them, like seniors or victims of domestic violence.
But others, like Cell Phones for Soldiers , collect your phones in order to sell them to a recycler and use the cash for their own programs. In the case of Cell Phones for Soldiers, for example, they buy prepaid phone cards for servicepeople serving overseas.
To find a charity you want to support, simply search online for “donate cell phone,” and a long list of options will show up. (One place to start is CollectiveGood’s Mobile Phone Recycling  program.)
Step 3: Send it off
Whichever option you choose, the company you’re giving your phone to will have clear instructions on how to get it to them. In some cases, they even provide free shipping labels you can print off their Web site. So just box your phone up, walk it down to the post office, and you’re done.
Last month’s project
Last month’s project involved recycling printer cartridges. I simply bagged mine up and took them to an office supply store. The cashier happily accepted them, and that was that. I’ve started a new pile in a box near my front door, and I’m going to make it a habit to grab whatever’s there every time I head to the store.
How about you? How’d you do in getting those old ink cartridges out of the house and on to a new life?
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/october%e2%80%99s-recycling-project-cell-phones/
URLs in this post:
 recycling: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Recycling-FAQ.html
 freecycling: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Freecycling-A-New-Way-to-Recycle.html
 computers: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/decembers-project-how-to-recycle-computers/
 Recellular.com: http://www.recellular.com/recycling/data_eraser/default.asp
 Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/null/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025&DCMP=rdr0001422
 Office Depot: http://www.officedepot.com/promo.do?file=/promo/pages/0928_recycling.jsp
 manufacturers and carriers: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/plugin/cellphone/index.htm
 Sprint: http://www.sprint.com/responsibility/communities_across/index.html?id8=vanity:recycle
 Support Network for Battered Women: http://www.supportnetwork.org/involve/DonateInKind.html
 Cell Phones for Soldiers: http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/about.html
 Mobile Phone Recycling: http://www.collectivegood.com/donate1.asp
 WhoBuysCellPhones.com: http://www.whobuyscellphones.com/index.htm
 Cell Phone: http://earth911.com/electronics/cell-phone/
 50 Ways to Leave Your Cell Phone: http://www.voip-news.com/feature/50-ways-leave-cellphone-011608/
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