Donate Cell Phones to New “Phone Brigade” Program, an Innovative Recycling Initiative Launched by ReCellular and TerraCycle
Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) February 22, 2009
ReCellular, the world’s leading electronics sustainability firm, today announced a new strategic partnership with TerraCycle, the upcycling company that has revolutionized the market for recycled goods. By the end of the year, the partnership hopes to have over a thousand brigades that collect and donate cell phones, raise funds for local causes and keep e-waste out of landfills. The companies have also committed to expand the relationship through additional upcycling opportunities in the future.
The partnership provides a convenient solution for TerraCycle to expand their upcycling efforts to include consumer electronics. TerraCycle first launched the Brigade concept in 2006, paying schools and non-profits to collect 20-ounce soda bottles. TerraCycle’s Brigade concept quickly became a grassroots phenomenon, with more than 20,000 participating locations by the end of 2008. In just two years, the programs raised more than $ 100,000, primarily donated to public-school organizations, and rescued and reused tens of millions of soda bottles, yogurt cups, and snack wrappers.
Based on the success of their bottle and wrapper brigades, TerraCycle decided to expand their upcycling collections to help address the estimated 65,000 tons of cell phones that are discarded every year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these phones could pose a toxic risk in landfills, but their small size and percentage of valuable materials make cell phones ideal for recycling.
Anyone can sign up to participate in the TerraCycle Phone Brigade. For program details and to donate cell phones, visit http://www.terracycle.net/cellphone/cellphone.htm. After registration, volunteers will receive donation boxes for collecting and shipping phones. Like other Brigade programs, volunteers will be compensated for each item they collect – which provides schools and other grassroots organizations with an innovative way to augment their strained budgets. More significantly, TerraCycle has found that the Brigade programs offer a turn-key environmental education program that empowers kids to make a difference in their own future.
After volunteers donate cell phones through the Brigade, the phones will be delivered to the Michigan-based ReCellular phone processing facility. There, phones are either refurbished and reprogrammed for reuse, or are recycled to reclaim materials needed to make new electronics equipment – such as precious metals from circuit boards, heavy metals from batteries.
Since its founding in 1991, ReCellular has worked to revolutionize the electronics sector by creating a second life for used mobile devices. Partnering with leading wireless carriers, retailers, Fortune 500 enterprises and charities, ReCellular collected over 5.5 million phones and raised over $ 4 million for charity in 2008.
“Economic, social and environmental sustainability have been at the core of our business long before the term ‘triple-bottom line’ was coined,” says Chuck Newman, CEO and founder of ReCellular. “Today, we are proud to be a part of the emerging green economy, and to partner with an innovative company such as TerraCycle. We look forward to expanding this relationship over the coming months.”
Since its founding in 1991, ReCellular has endeavored to make the world more ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable. As the world’s largest green-tech firm focused exclusively on mobile devices, ReCellular provides solutions for the collection and processing of equipment that exceeds the stringent data security and audit requirements of government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Processing more than 5 million phones annually, ReCellular’s efforts have raised over $ 20 million for charities as well as social, environmental and financial return for our partners. More information as well as ReCellular’s 2008 Corporate Sustainability Report can be found at ReCellular.com.
In 2001, Tom Szaky, a Princeton University Freshman, founded TerraCycle in hopes of building an eco-capitalist company built on waste. After winning countless business plan contests, Tom dropped out of Princeton to pursue his dream of founding the world’s most environmentally friendly company. Seven years later, TerraCycle’s eco-friendly products have received a myriad of social and environmental accolades and are sold at major retailers like The Home Depot, Target, Wal*Mart and Whole Foods Markets. TerraCycle’s business plan and products made from waste received a Zerofootprint Seal of Approval, won The Home Depot’s Environmental Stewardship Award twice and recently won the 2007 Social Venture Network Innovation Award. Please visit us at terracycle.net to learn more.
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