From the New York Times: The way the Environmental Protection Agency sees it, one discarded cell phone is like one vote: on its own, it cannot do much harm or good, but the cumulative effect can pack a wallop.
So on Tuesday, the E.P.A., in partnership with many retailers, manufacturers and service providers, will introduce a public education campaign aimed at getting consumers to recycle those phones.
By the agency’s reckoning, as many as 150 million cell phones are taken out of service each year. The phones contain metals, plastics, glass and chemicals, all of which require energy to mine and make, and many of which could be hazardous if they end up in landfills and leach into the ground. Moreover, many old cell phones still work and can be donated to charities or distributed to poor people.
“There are significant environmental and energy benefits to getting these phones back into the product stream,” the director of the agency’s office of solid waste, Matt Hale, said.
The $175,000 campaign — “Recycle Your Cellphone. It’s an Easy Call” — will rely heavily on public service announcements, particularly in lifestyle and technology magazines read by the 18- to 34-year-olds who trade up to new cell phones most often. The ads will stress environmental and social reasons for recycling. The agency also plans to release a podcast in which recycling specialists elaborate on their methodologies.