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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cell Phone Recycling

Cell phones are one of the fastest growing forms of electronic waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average cell phone life span is about 18 months. Phones are discarded at an alarming rate of more than 125 million per year, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste.

Cell phones contain harmful materials such as lead and cadmium that are released as phones break down. These materials, which can leach into soil and drinking water from phones buried in landfills, may cause cancer and a range of reproductive and developmental disorders, even when the substances are released in small quantities.

Woodbury Parks and Recreation is partnering with Cellular Recycler and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to keep cell phones out of the trash. Phones collected through this program are either recycled for their precious metals according to EPA standards or are refurbished for use in developing countries with less advanced cellular technology than the U.S. During the refurbishing process, the memory of each cell phone is "flashed" to wipe out any previous information stored on the phone and allow for reprogramming.

Ninety percent of the proceeds will go toward providing programs and life-long learning for older adults in the community and 10 percent goes back to the NCOA to help continue new and innovative ways to provide fundraising and support senior center initiatives across the country.

Used cell phones can be dropped off in the collection boxes at Woodbury City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Road, and at the information desk inside Central Park, 8595 Central Park Place (adjacent to the YMCA). For more information, call Woodbury Parks and Recreation at (651) 714-3583.