Charleston, SC –– Is it broken? Old? We don’t care! The holidays are a great time for giving which often means the replacement of outdated or unwanted cell phones.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 (KCB) organization will be hosting its 4th annual Wipe Out Wireless Waste (WOWW) 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:

 City of Charleston: 823 Meeting Street

City of Charleston: 75 Calhoun Street, 3rd Floor

Las Olas: 441 King Street

Waldenbooks: 120 Market Street

Blackbaud: 2000 Daniel Island Dr. 

The Vision Center: 1956 Long Grove Drive

Hollings Marine Laboratory: 331 Fort Johnson Rd

Indigo Books: 472 Freshfields Drive

Cricket Wireless: 3927 Rivers Ave, A

Cricket Wireless: 514 Saint James Ave, E

Cricket Wireless: 7550 Dorchester Road, B

 The goal is to raise awareness for electronics recycling and promote waste responsibility. There are many local groups and organizations which collect electronics for reuse and recycling throughout the year so please utilize any of these programs to help keep landfills free of electronic devices.

 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 and the remaining materials are properly disposed of through EPA standards.

 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.

 Keep Charleston Beautiful looks forward to helping you recycle. If you have any questions about the WOWW program please visit the website, For information on recycling unwanted electronics throughout the year as well as other recycling information please visit Charleston County Website at

209 phones were collected in 2010.


 About Keep Charleston Beautiful

The City of Charleston’s Keep Charleston Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. They are dedicated to promoting the cleanliness and beautification of the City of Charleston through education, public awareness, and community involvement.  Founded in 1977, Keep Charleston Beautiful works with local schools, businesses, and organizations to educate the community on the importance of litter prevention, waste responsibility, and community beautification.  


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