Aug 22 - Recycled Cellphones Expand Wireless Communications Worldwide

Third world countries are in a wireless boom, thanks to cell phone recycling, especially that in the United States. ReCellular, based in Michigan, handles half of the country's phone recycling business, handling 300-400 phones in a couple of minutes. David N. Goodman of the Associated Press reports that cell phone subscribers worldwide have grown to over two billion last year.

DEXTER, Mich. — With the number of cellphones in use worldwide hitting 2 billion and rising, recycled phones are playing a crucial role in the spread of wireless communications across the developing world, where land lines can be costly or unavailable.

The odds are good that a refurbished cellphone in the pocket of a user in Bolivia, Jamaica, Kenya, Ukraine or Yemen originated with ReCellular. Based in small-town Michigan, ReCellular gets 75,000 used phones a week — most collected in charity fundraisers — and refurbishes them for sale around the world.

ReCellular has more than half the U.S. phone recycling business. Executives say they are doing well for themselves as well as for the March of Dimes and other national charities that benefit from the company's purchase of donated phones.

Read the complete article in USA Today.

Last month, CAW sponsored AB 2901 (Pavley) went into effect requiring retailers to take back and recycle unwanted cell phones. Cell phones contain hazardous materials and when not properly disposed of, these materials can leak and contaminate soils and groundwater.

What You Can Do

  • LEARN more about why cell phones are hazardous materials and where to recycle them.
  • TAKE action and support AB 2202, CAW's efforts to eliminate hazardous materials from all consumer electronics.