With America Recycles Day coming up on November 15, Verizon (News
) Wireless on Friday highlighted its efforts to encourage wireless device recycling among its customers. The company claims to be the first wireless carrier in the U.S. to collect and recycle old mobile phones, which it has done since the beginning of 1999 (first in New York and New Jersey, later rolled out across the entire country).
Sticking with the old “reduce, reuse, recycle” adage, Verizon offered its customers three tips to ensure that old phones do not end up in landfills, and to otherwise minimize the environmental impact of using such devices.
For the “reduce” part, Verizon advised customers to be smart about how they recharge their wireless devices. The best strategy, the company said, is to plug chargers into a power strip, which can be turned off when not in use. The prevents unnecessary energy consumption drained by electrical items left plugged in and turned on when not being used.
For the “reuse” part, Verizon let its customers know they can donate their old phones to the company’s HopeLine program for refurbishing. Proceeds from devices resold through HopeLine are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or to purchase wireless phones for survivors. Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless has to date made more than $4 million in cash grants and donated upwards of 45,000 phones with airtime to domestic violence prevention organizations.
Finally, to complete the “three Rs” circle, Verizon reminded its customers that the HopeLine program is also about recycling. Wireless phones and accessories (including batteries) in any condition from any manufacturer or service provider can be dropped off at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores so the company can dispose of them in an environmentally-friendly way. To date, HopeLine has collected more than 4.2 million phones and kept more than 200 tons of electronics waste and batteries out of landfills.
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Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. She also blogs for TMCnet here.