April 01, 2010

Sprint Partners with the U.S. EPA to Urge Americans to Recycle Their Unwanted Cell Phones

"Plug-In To eCycling" to Boost Recovery of Cell Phones

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Apr 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today its renewed partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for "Plug-In To eCycling National Cell Phone Recycling Week," April 5-11, 2010. Sprint is launching an aggressive social media campaign to build upon the 3.7 million phones that it collected for reuse and recycling in 2009.

"Sprint is pleased to work again with the EPA to increase awareness and consumer participation in electronics recycling, or eCycling," said Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president of Corporate Responsibility. "We are committed to eCycling efforts. With approximately 16,000 cell phones discarded every hour in the U.S., we encourage our customers and other wireless customers to give their old phones a second life by recycling them."

Leading the industry in wireless recycling, Sprint was the first to set an ambitious, long-term goal to recover for reuse or recycling the equivalent of 90 percent of handsets sold by 2017. Sprint's collection rate for 2009 was 42 percent, up from a 34 percent rate the previous year. In total, Sprint's take back programs have diverted more than 20 million cell phones from landfills for reuse or recycling since 2001.

National Cell Phone Recycling Week aligns with Sprint's mission to reduce the environmental impact of products and services. In March, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse testified in front of Congress and announced another milestone - the launch of Sprint's expanded wireless buy-back program. Sprint is the only major U.S. wireless carrier to offer in-store financial incentives to consumers for recycling their eligible devices regardless of make, manufacturer or carrier.

  • Sprint Buyback offers an instant account credit at point of sale to current and new Sprint customers who turn in up to three eligible wireless devices, per active line of service each year. More than 900 wireless devices are currently eligible for credit of up to $250 at more than 2,400 participating Sprint retail stores nationwide. Customers who want to participate in the Sprint Buyback program without going to a retail store can go to www.sprint.com/recycle or call toll-free (866) 364-5680. Customers using these options will receive an account credit.
  • Sprint Project Connect accepts all wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition and is available to everyone. Free postage-paid envelopes are available at any Sprint-owned retail store and come in the box with most new phones sold by Sprint. Free postage-paid mailing labels are also available at www.sprint.com/recycle. All net proceeds generated from the wireless equipment collected by Sprint Project Connect help keep kids safer online through Sprint's 4NetSafetySM program. Charitable partners include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the NEA Health Information Network.

To further drive recycling rates, Sprint is launching a video on April 5 entitled "16,000 Phones" that features Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, and providing program updates and statistics via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the Sprint Community site during National Cell Phone Recycling Week. Follow Sprint on Twitter at @SprintGreenNews, hashtag #ecycling, and become a Sprint Facebook fan to join the conversation.

For more information on Sprint, ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies and #15 overall on Newsweek's Green Rankings, and its programs that help to protect the environment, go to: www.sprint.com/green. To print out a free, postage-paid wireless recycling shipping label, please visit www.sprint.com/recycle.

About Plug-In To eCycling

Plug-In To eCycling with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a partnership with leading electronic manufacturers, retailers, and service providers to create, provide, and promote opportunities to donate or recycle ("eCycle") used consumer electronics. Initiated in 2003, the Plug-In To eCycling program facilitates partnerships to increase recycling opportunities and empowers consumers with information about how to donate or safely recycle their old electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones. For additional information, please visit: www.epa.gov/plugin.


Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company's customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

SOURCE: Sprint

Darren Beck, 913-526-1099

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