AT&T Partners With EPA to Increase E-cycling

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As the use of electronics grows in an increasingly populated and technology-oriented world, the federal government and wireless phone companies are developing ways to encourage people to properly dispose of unwanted electronic devices.

AT&T is addressing the issue of recycling wireless devices by offering drop-off stations at more than 2,000 of its retail locations across the country, as well as offering prepaid shipping labels for customers to ship back their old phone for recycling.

AT&T is working to increase the accessbility to e-cycling locations by installing recycling stations in thousands of its locations. Photo:

AT&T is working to increase the accessibility to e-cycling locations by installing recycling stations in thousands of its locations. Photo:

Even better, customers can bring their wireless phones, accessories, smartphones or batteries to these AT&T retail locations, regardless of the manufacturer or network carrier.

AT&T Reuse and Recycle aims to boost the current U.S. EPA estimation that of the 2.25 million tons of TVs, computers and cell phones capable of being recycled, only 18 percent is collected for recycling while the other 82 percent finds its way primarily into landfills.

In 2008, as a result of these efforts, AT&T reports that it collected 4.5 million wireless devices and 1.3 million pounds of batteries and accessories for recycling.

Additionally, AT&T is partnering with the EPA in its Plug-In to eCycling campaign. The goals of the partnership include:

  • Educating consumers about the benefits of recycling e-waste
  • Informing the public of drop-off locations for recycling e-waste
  • Increasing the U.S. e-waste recycling rate to 35 percent

As awareness concerning e-waste increases, companies such as AT&T hope that disposing of old phones can become as routine as other recycling habits. Making electronics recycling a habit will require education as well as convenience.

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  2. So AT&T is looking to increase recycling of the main three forms of e-waste, but it’s only accepting cell phones?

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  5. I like hearing that AT&T is partnering with the EPA since the majority of the US’s e-waste ends up being shipped to Africa, India or China where there is little to no safeguards for the adults and children sifting through the waste. Greenpeace put a tracking device in a tv in the UK through a reputable recycling program, and it ended up in Africa where it was not supposed to be. And that’s what is happening here in the States as well.

    But there’s another problem with cell phones that the majority of consumers do not know about, and that’s the conflict-related minerals that come from Eastern Congo – the 3 T’s, tin, tungsten and tantalum (sp?), which are fueling the deadliest war in the world (where women are the main victims by rape). Call your provider and ask that your phone be “Conflict-Free” as there are more humane, be it costly options for these minerals.

    So even though AT&T made maximum campaign contributions to the pro-war Bush and McCain campaigns and gave up customer call records without government warrant, and contributed to Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) who called global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” I guess this is a good step forward.

  6. AT&T touts all this recycle garbage, yet when you cancel or move for U-Verse service they will not take back the power cords, cables, remotes or batteries!!!! AND they mentions nothing in their return merchandise paperwork about the proper way to dispose of those items (not the trash!!) just that you you can ‘keep them free of charge’! All that is going in the landfill. SHAME ON YOU HYPOCRITES @ AT&T!!! Take back your stuff and reuse or recycle it!!!!!

  7. Raise money for a little league team, charity or for your school by having a cell phone and electronics drive. Donate your cell phones or electronics to and we will send the proceeds to your cause, in your name. It’s that simple! It is a great opportunity for your customers and employees to help fund a local charity and help clean up the environment. It’s a great way to enhance your public image and to get friends, family, partners and customers involved. Add the drive to your website to maximize the amount of phones and electronics you receive. This will increase the amount of money your charity will receive in your name. Start today!

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