Recycle your old phone and help Wipe Out Wireless Waste

Image by Flickr user ario_

The holidays are a great time for giving which often means the replacement of outdated or unwanted cell phones.

Help your old phone find new life by recycling it rather than dropping it in the trash or storing it away to be forgotten. This January, the City of Charleston’s Keep Charleston Beautiful organization will be hosting its 4th annual Wipe Out Wireless Waste cell phone recycling drive throughout Charleston County to raise awareness about electronics recycling and to reduce the number of cell phones being deposited in our landfill.

Each year, Americans retire over 100 million cell phones, of which the EPA estimates less than 20% are recycled or reused. These small electronic devices are extremely harmful to the environment because they contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. When not properly disposed of, these dangerous chemicals can be absorbed by the soil and leach into local waterways. Since its start in 2008, WOWW has collected over 390 unwanted phones from the Charleston community.

In order to reduce the amount of electronics ending up in the landfills, KCB is working with local businesses to set up cell phone drop-sites. During the month of January, you can drop off unwanted cell phones at these participating locations:

At the completion of this event, KCB will send all phones to the partnering agency for proper recycling and disposal. Cell phones are either refurbished for reuse or disassembled with all recyclable materials being removed with the remaining materials properly disposed of through EPA standards.

Remember: before you leave your unwanted phone at one of the drop sites, make sure to cancel your service and clear all personal information off of the phone.

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