That old cell phone lying forgotten in a cupboard or drawer could help a worthy cause. U.S. carrier Verizon (News
) Wireless is asking consumers to donate their old cell phones to the company’s HopeLine
Phones donated to HopeLine are either recycled or refurbished depending on condition. Proceeds from sale of refurbished phones to provide financial support for organizations that work to help victims of domestic violence. The program also donates phones and airtime to non-profit advocacy agencies.
Verizon’s latest call for donations came at a time of year when many people are engaging in “spring cleaning,” straightening up their homes in preparation for the warmer months. In the process, they might find old phones they forgot about.
There are now about 256 million mobile phone users in the U.S., and because technology changes seem to occur at a breakneck speed, it’s not uncommon for old phones to get left laying around, forgotten.
“Because of the frequency
with which Americans upgrade their wireless phones, we know that there are millions of unused cell phones waiting to be donated to the HopeLine program,” said Tami Erwin, regional president for Verizon Wireless’ operations in Washington, Baltimore and Virginia, in a statement. “Our message is when you dust, don't forget to donate.”
By allowing Verizon to refurbish their old phones, consumers are not only helping a cause but also protecting the environment. Verizon collects rechargeable batteries for recycling as part of its Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC (News
)) Call2Recycle program. The 4.5 million phones donated to HopeLine since 2001 have kept more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
Used phones can be returned to any Verizon Wireless retail store. HopeLine collects phones and accessories from any wireless service, not just those originally obtained from Verizon.
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Nitya Prashant is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nitya’s articles, please visit her columnist page.