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How to Recycle Cell Phones for Charity

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/10/2010

E-Waste is on the rise and used cell phones are a major contributing factor to the problem. There are many options available when looking to recycle your used cell phone, learn about the most eco-conscious ways to do so in this article.

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    In our modern times of constant communication coinciding with promotional cell phone options, many unwanted cell phones are simply just thrown away. Three million tons of what is known as E-Waste is accumulated in America every year and cell phones make up the majority of this new waste stream. Standard recycling is not the only option to reusing cell phones. Here we are going to take a closer look at the many ways we can recycle old cell phones in ways that contribute to charity while meeting three Green R's of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

    Cell Phones for Soldiers: This is a cell phone recycling program that turns old cell phones into prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops. The current expectation is to collect 15,000 cell phones each month and then sell them to ReCellular, which will generate more than 12 million minutes of calling time.

    ReCelluar: This company contributes to reducing cell phone waste build up in three ways. You can buy a used cell phone from them, you can sell old cell phones to them or you can donate cell phones to help non-profit organizations across the country keep up with their ability to communicate.

    GreenPhone: This company was developed by CollectiveGood and will buy your used cell phones from you. CollectiveGood will then recycle or convert used cell phones in an environmentally friendly way and redistribute them throughout the world. GreenPhone will also buy used pagers, PDAs and ink jet cartridges.

    Eco-Cell: This company will buy and recycle cell phones as fundraising for environmental causes. Some non-profits that they have been involved with include the Save the Gorllia fund, the Tents of Hope program to give needed shelter to those who need it in Darfur and donating phones with charger and battery to people with health ailments so that they are able to contact the authorities when needed.

    e-Cycling: This program was developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In conjunction with the following companies: AT&T, Best Buy, Office Depot, T-Mobile, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, Staples, LG, Verizon, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and Palm the EPA has set up nationwide cell phone, battery and charger recycling by drop off donation.

    So, the next time that you go to get an upgraded phone or even the latest in cell phone technology stop and think about the many ways in which you can recycle your old cell phone. You get the chance to help someone in need, make a little extra cash and do your part for the environment by helping to keep the spiraling E-Waste numbers down.