Joe Martin writes: "Greetings, My name is Joe Martin and I am contacting you on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I have a press release, but I am first sending the brief introduction. Most people don't realize that the old cell phone that's sitting in their drawer is actually contributing to climate change. Recycling, or what has become known as "eCycling" an old cell phone can be a quick and easy way for Americans to help protect the environment. By recycling or reusing old cell phones, consumers can help reduce climate change, save energy and conserve natural resources by reducing the amount of precious metals and copper that are mined for the manufactures of new phones. According to the U.S. EPA, if 100 million Americans recycled cell phones that are no longer in use, we could save enough energy to power 194,000 homes for a year. Currently Americans are replacing their cell phones every 18 months on average. Despite the large number of manufacturer and retailer-led collection programs across the country, many of these consumers still do not know where or how they can recycle their unwanted cell phones. With an estimated 250 million cell phones in use nationwide and less than 20 percent of unwanted cell phones being recycled each year, EPA realized the need to educate the public on the importance of eCycling their old or unwanted cell phones. To help consumers identify easy recycling and donating options, EPA is partnering with leading cell phone makers, service providers and retailers to launch the Plug-In To eCycling "Recycle Your Cell Phone" campaign on January 8th. Program partners include: AT&T, Best Buy, Dell, eBay's Rethink initiative, HP, Intel, JVC, Lexmark, LG Electronics, Motorola, NEC Display, Nokia, Office Depot, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, Toshiba, and Wal-Mart. Through the national take back program, consumers can drop off their old cell phones or mail them into participating organizations. In 2007, through Plug-In To eCycling, retailers and electronics manufacturers voluntarily recycled more than 47 million pounds of electronics including computers and televisions. As part of the cell phone program, Sprint recycled 3 million phones and accessories through an in-store and online program. Samsung also collected used cell phones and portable rechargeable batteries to recycle 100,000 pounds of electronic equipment. These are just a few examples of how the program is making a difference. To help Slashdot readers discover cell phone recycling options that can make an impact on climate change, please contact me. I am happy to put you in touch with the EPA between now and January 8th. Additionally, we can coordinate interviews with program partners Staples, AT&T, and Nokia who can speak to their national cell phone recycling and reuse programs and accomplishments in conjunction with their partnership with EPA's Plug-In program. The EPA will also be at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. If you will be present at this event, we can certainly set up a face to face interview. Thank you for your time. To learn more about the recycling campaign and to obtain a list of partners and their scheduled events and programs visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/plugin/partners.htm Click on partner logos to learn more on specific eCycling programs. Sincerely, Joe Martin on behalf of the EPA (Tel) (206) 623 0232 x231 (Cell) (206) 384-0852"
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