Sprint.com

February 12, 2009

Sprint Sets Ambitious 90 Percent Wireless Recycling Goal

Sprint Demonstrates Leadership in Wireless Reuse and Recycling

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2009-- Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced the wireless carrier's aggressive goal of reaching a 90% phone collection rate for reuse/recycling compared with annual wireless device sales by 2017. With more than 140 million cell phones discarded every year in the United States, the need for responsible wireless phone recycling is greater than ever. Sprint has instituted a “Zer0 e-Waste” policy with the providers who receive and process the recycled phones it collects, ensuring they are recycled safely, ethically and responsibly.

“This is a challenge for the entire industry,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Sprint is the first to set an aggressive 90 percent recovery goal. Sprint is committed to lead the industry in conserving natural resources, decreasing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

“EPA commends Sprint for taking the lead among its industry peers in setting a 90 percent recycling goal for its wireless recycling efforts,” said Matt Hale, director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Conservation and Resource Recovery. “In providing consumers with easy to use recycling opportunities, Sprint is helping consumers to conserve valuable resources.”

A recent Sprint survey examining consumers' mobile phone recycling habits found that nine out of 10 surveyed own at least one and as many as five old, unused mobile phones. To encourage consumers to recycle their unused wireless devices, Sprint offers two free and easy programs: Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project Connect(SM).

  • Sprint customers can participate in the Sprint Buyback program by going to www.sprint.com/recycle or calling toll-free (866) 364-5680 or going to any of the more than 1,200 Sprint-owned retail stores nationwide. The wireless device recovery effort allows customers to return eligible Sprint or Nextel devices for account credits.
  • Anyone can recycle with Sprint Project Connect. The program accepts all wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition. 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. Since 2001, Sprint's recycling and reuse programs have raised more than $6 million for charities. Today all net proceeds generated from the wireless equipment collected by Sprint Project Connect support Internet safety for kids through Sprint's 4NetSafetySM program. Charitable partners include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the NEA Health Information Network.

Sprint is committed to reducing its impact on the global environment by working with consumers to increase participation in responsible recycling practices. In 2008, Sprint collected more than 3 million units, equal to 34 percent of devices sold, an increase from 22 percent in 2007. Of the handsets that Sprint collected in 2008, more than 90 percent were reused. More information on Sprint programs that protect the environment is available at http://www.sprint.com/responsibility/sustainability.html.

About Sprint Nextel

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 nearly 51 million customers at the end of the third quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

eCYCLING FACT SHEET

Sprint goal: 90 percent wireless reuse and recycling

eCycling in the U.S. (2009)

  • There are approximately 270 million cell phone users in the United States.
  • Nine out of 10 Sprint customers surveyed own at least one, and as many as five, old or unused cell phones.
  • More than 140 million cell phones are discarded annually in the U.S., most of which are sent to landfills or waste incinerators.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, for every 1 million cell phones recycled, enough energy would be saved to provide electricity to more than 2,000 U.S. homes a year, and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking almost 1,400 cars off of the road.

Sprint is setting an aggressive industry-leading goal to recycle
and reuse 90 percent of its annual wireless phones sold by 2017.

Sprint wireless recycling and reuse programs

Established, environmentally sound programs - To encourage consumers to recycle their unused wireless devices, Sprint offers two programs recognized by the EPA:

  • Sprint Buyback - This wireless device recovery effort allows Sprint customers to return eligible Sprint or Nextel cell phones for account credits as much as $50 per phone.
    Fact: The average number of Sprint or Nextel devices recycled in 2008 was four per participant and the average transaction resulted in an account credit of just under $100.
    Fact: Of the approximately 3.2 million cell phones Sprint collected through its Sprint Buyback program in 2007, more than 90 percent were reused.
  • Sprint Project Connect(SM) accepts all wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition. Participation is free and open to anyone. All net proceeds generated from the wireless equipment collected support Internet safety for kids through Sprint's 4NetSafetySM program. Charitable partners include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the NEA Health Information Network.
    Fact: Since 2001, Sprint's recycling and reuse programs have raised more than $6 million for charities.
    Fact: Most new phones sold by Sprint now contain a postage-paid Sprint Project Connect envelope in the box.
  • Sprint Reverse Logistics – More than 90 percent of phones collected by Sprint's wireless reuse and recycling programs are refurbished for use in Sprint's customer service and repair, device testing and community loan programs.
    Fact: Only original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts are used in the refurbishing process and Sprint certifies all equipment is in working order prior to reuse.
    Fact: Obsolete and non-functioning equipment is recycled for base materials in ISO-certified facilities that comply with EPA R2 standards. Base materials can be used in the manufacture of a variety of new products, as detailed in the Giving Scrap a “Second Life” section below.
  • Zer0 e-Waste PolicySprint adheres to a Zer0 e-Waste policy that ensures none of the wireless equipment collected through Sprint's recycling and reuse programs enters the waste stream (i.e., landfills or waste incinerators).
    Fact: Sprint does not ship electronic scrap to “underdeveloped” (non-OECD) countries.
    Fact: All of Sprint's recycling vendors are contractually obligated to follow Sprint's Zer0 e-Waste policy and are audited to ensure compliance.
  • Giving Scrap a Second LifeSprint ensures base materials from obsolete or non-functional wireless equipment or parts generated through Sprint's wireless reuse and recycling programs are reclaimed.
    Fact: These materials can be used to manufacture a wide variety of new products including the following:
  • Jewelry, electronics, plumbing, catalysts or even art foundries - created with the precious metals recovered from cell phones and accessories (e.g., gold, silver, platinum, copper, brass and other metals)
  • Road beds and shingle components in the asphalt industry - created with slag from the metal refining process
  • Lawn furniture, license plate frames, non-food containers, racks and replacement automotive parts – created with ground plastics from wireless devices and accessories
  • New rechargeable battery products - created from reconditioned rechargeable batteries
  • Fiber board components – created from reused paper products

Data removal - Sprint places great value in protecting the personal data of its wireless users. Sprint works diligently to ensure every handset collected through our wireless recycling programs that reenters the marketplace is cleared of all personal data. In addition, Sprint also recommends all participants of our wireless reuse and recycling programs deactivate the service on their phone and erase all personal information before sending it in. Participants can consult their user manual for directions or use tools available online, like the Data Eraser – a free resource from ReCellular.

For more information about Sprint's wireless reuse and recycling efforts, please go to www.sprint.com/recycle.

Source: Sprint

Sprint
Alexander Hahn, 703-433-3062
alex.m.hahn@sprint.com



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