The University of San Diego has officially opened its recycling facility for old cell phones and other forms of electronic waste. The facility opens on the same week as the international Earth Day event, with a press release from the university noting that “Every day is Earth Day at USD” and that the facility is just one sign of their commitment to sustainability and conservation.
China is one of the worst countries in the world for cell phone recycling, according to a new report from the Beijing Morning Post. Less than one per cent of old cell phones are recycled in the country according to the newspaper, despite the average Chinese citizen changing their cell phone once every 15 months.
This morning, I read an article in the online British news site Mirror.co.uk about a man from Somerset who was mugged of money and cell phone, only to have his cell phone handed back to him as being not good enough to steal. Intrigued, I did a little more investigation and saw that this is not a unique story; there have been other reports of muggers returning cells to their owners because they were too cheap.
Once upon a time, the cell phone laws for drivers in California in the United States were simple – hold a cell phone in your hand and make a call while driving and you are just breaking the law. Fast forward three years, however, and with a range of options for cell phones – such as texting, GPS devices, email dispensers, voice recorders, music players and cameras – and it is not just the public who are confused, with even many police officers themselves unsure as to what is legal and what is not.
The primary authorized retailer of cell phones on the internet, Wirefly, is calling on customers to support Earth Day by handing in their old cell phones and other unwanted electronic gadgets for recycling. Those who do hand over their used cell phones and other forms of electrical waste to the company for recycling will receive either cash or a donation to any of more than a dozen eligible charities (such as the American Red Cross and the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation) as a reward for their environmentally responsible behavior.
Canadian citizens are being encouraged to donate their old cell phones for recycling to help the award winning Cell Phones for Food program. The program, which is run by Food Banks Canada, has been in operation for eight years now since 2003, and has prevented around half a million used cell phones from ending up in Canadian landfills, is in the process raising funds of no less than 750,000 dollars for Food Banks Canada. Last year the company was rewarded with a “Connected to Community” award by Canadian Wireless Technology in recognition of its efforts with the Cell Phones for Food program.
Canadians are being called upon to donate their old cell phones for recycling as part of Earth Week 2011. The campaign is being spearheaded by the country’s cell phone recycling program, Recycle My Cell, which is available to all citizens completely free of charge. Recycle My Cell has a website available in two languages – English at RecycleMyCell.ca and French at recyclemoncell.ca – where customers can find the drop off location nearest to them just by entering their zip code. If they are for some reason unable to reach one of the 3500 drop-off points located across the country, the site also offers printable postage paid labels, to allow people to mail their used cell phones in to be recycled instead.
Big Key Self Storage, which is located in Miami in the United States, has signed up to become a part of the Cell Phones for Soldiers scheme. The Cell Phones for Soldiers scheme turns old cell phones into pre-paid cards for soldiers who are serving overseas, enabling them to have communication with their loved ones back home. Big Key Self Storage will accept almost any and all forms of electronic waste, including cassette recorders, typewriters, computers, CDs and DVDs, pagers, fax machines and various other electrical items, although only used cell phones will be able to help the soldiers and they are not currently accepting televisions.
eBay wants your old cell phones. The online auction site is running a two-week scheme to enable users to be paid up to a 150 US dollars for sending in used cell phones and other electrical gadgets such as iPads and iPods which are damaged or otherwise unwanted, which will then be sent for recycling. While the company has been running an Instant Sale program since late last year, the two week promotion will be paying customers considerably more to hand in their old cellular phone than has otherwise been the case.
Recently, a study covering ten different countries asked roughly 1,000 students to deprive themselves of their media for 24 hours; this included internet, games, news, television, and mobile phones. Afterward, they were to write about the experience.