It has been estimated that there are at least 500 million cell phones in homes and offices in the United States and millions are going into landfills where they pose severe pollution
problems. Rather than let this happen, there are a number of organizations to which you may donate cell phones where they will be recycled and resold or given directly to those who need them.
Cell phones contain persistent toxins; that is, they stay in the environment a very long time. Some of these are antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zink. Lead and cadmium accumulate in the tissues of plants and animals and work their way up the food chain. Lead can lead to cancer, neurological, and developmental problems. Cell phones also contain brominated flame-retardants, which are associated with cancer and disruption of the immune and endocrine systems. The European Union beginning in 2006 has banned these in cell phones. The EU has already banned batteries that contain nickel cadmium.
It can be seen that donating cell phones makes very good sense because doing so benefits charities and the environment at the same time.
Before donating your cell phone, erase your stored information and be sure to deactivate the phone. Following is a list of reliable charities. This list is by no means exhaustive.
All the major cell phone companies have recycling programs that benefit charities.
– AT&T benefits Keep America Beautiful
– Nextel America benefits the American Red Cross
– Sprint Project Connect benefits people with disabilities through Easter Seals and the National Organization on Disability
– T Mobile benefits American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund
– Verizon gets cell phones to victims of domestic violence so that they may speed dial 911
You can donate your cell phone to the above by dropping it off at any of their stores.
There are also a number of charities that you can donate cell phones. Some refurbish and resell the phone, using the monies for their charities. Others give the phones directly to victims or domestic violence or to the elderly so that they may always have access to 911. All cell phones are required to carry 911 even when deactivated. Cell phone donations are tax deductible. There are some organizations that donate part of the monies to charities but keep the rest and are not considered to be non-profits. These organizations are not listed here.
– March of Dimes
– Recycle for Breast Cancer
– CTIA Wireless Foundation gives phones to victims of domestic violence
– Goodwill refurbishes and resells in its stores
– Call to Protect gets phones to victims of domestic violence
– Verizon HopeLine
– Charitable Recycling Program
For assistance to do your own fundraising with donated cell phones:
– Funding Factory
– Wireless Fundraiser.com
All these charities have sites on the Internet. You can also check with your local charities so see if they accept donated cell phones. Whatever you do, please recycle your phone. The life you save may be your own.