The next time you’re ready to upgrade your cell phone, recycle the old one! If all the estimated 100 million dead cell phones were recycled, the United States could save enough energy to power more than 194,000 U.S. households with electricity for one year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Less than 20 percent of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year, according to the EPA.
Recycling can help the environment by keeping usable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. Cell phones are made of precious metals, copper and plastics, which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling these materials not only conserves resources, but reduces air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier this year, EPA teamed up with cell phone retailers, manufacturers and service providers to develop collection programs. Some charitable groups and state or municipal solid waste programs also offer cell phone recycling.
To find out where to recycle your cell phone, visit www.epa.gov/cellphone.