Wanted: Your Kid's Video About Cellphone Recycling

A new contest for schoolchildren highlights the importance of recycling cellphones. Photo: Shutterstock

A new contest for schoolchildren highlights the importance of recycling cellphones. Photo: Shutterstock

Budding artists and filmmakers have an opportunity to make art with a message — and be rewarded for their efforts — thanks to a competition from JASON Learning and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

The Cell Phone Recycling Awareness Contest, open to students in grades K–12, is designed to help raise awareness about the growing problem of discarded cellphones. Millions of mobile phones are tossed in the trash every year, and most of them contain precious metals and plastics that could save energy and resources if recycled. However, when disposed of improperly, they can release dangerous toxic materials into the environment.

“Most people are at a loss when it comes to what to do with an old cellphone,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Too often people throw their used cellphone in a drawer and forget about it.”

Wiener added that, according to the EPA, only 25 percent of household electronics available for recycling in the U.S. are actually collected for recycling. The other 75 percent of those devices remain in a drawer or closet gathering dust, or are sent to landfills.

“This contest will educate children, and parents, about the opportunity and importance of properly recycling cellphones, thus helping to increase the volume of recycling within the U.S.,” Wiener says.

Students can enter a video or poster, created in the form of a public service announcement, to help educate the public on the importance of recycling old phones. They can enter as individuals or pairs, and one video and one poster finalist will be selected from three grade categories: K–4, 5–8 and 9–12. One overall grand prize winner will be selected in each division, and the deadline for submissions is Jan. 15.

Prizes for the finalists include being featured on the JASON and ISRI websites, a year of JASON online access, an ISRI T-shirt, and, for the grand prize winners, a trip for the entrant(s) and a parent or guardian to ISRI’s Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, April 6–10, 2014.

For more information about the contest, go here.

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