In honor of National Recycling Week this week, AT&T has announced they've set a Guinness World Record that helped prevent a nice chunk of e-waste from ending up in landfills. The company recycled 50,942 cell phones in one week and have expanded their recycling efforts to keep the momentum going.
It's estimated that 140 million cell phone users in the U.S. upgrade their phone every 14 to 18 months. That amounts to a whole lot of old cell phones, likely sitting in people's drawers, or worse, winding up in the trash. And now that most cellular companies like AT&T have take-back programs for your old phones, in addition to the wide array of other recycling options from Gazelle and ReCellular to eBay, there's really no excuse for not recycling your phone when you're done with it.
Ideally, we'd love it if 50,000 cell phones were being recycled every week, but AT&T is making strides to recycle more phones on a regular basis.
From the press release: "In 2011, AT&T collected approximately three million cell phones for reuse and recycling and, thanks in part to its new trade-in program, anticipates surpassing that number in 2012. By recycling these devices, AT&T customers avoided sending approximately 25,471 pounds of waste to landfills. By the numbers, Texas recycled the most devices with 5,879 devices, followed closely by California with 4,916 devices. Among stores, the Chippenham store in Richmond, Virginia, collected the most devices at 108. Yet, there is much work to be done as millions of devices are discarded every year without being recycled."
AT&T's trade in program lets customers earn cash credit to put toward a new phone or their phone bill or have the phone's value donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers, a non-profit organization that provides deployed and returning troops with cost-free methods to communicate with family while serving in the military.