Consumers can participate in Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project ConnectSM to responsibly recycle and reduce e-Waste

November 15, 2010

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), November 15, 2010 - Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), in recognition of America Recycles Day, today reminded consumers of the environmental benefits of recycling their old or unused wireless devices through take-back programs such as Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project Connect.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 140 million old mobile devices are improperly disposed of each year, potentially releasing environmentally sensitive materials into the air and water,” said Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president of corporate responsibility. “In light of America Recycles Day, Sprint would like to remind consumers that instead of disposing of their old or unused electronics, they can responsibly recycle them through Sprint Buyback and Project Connect.”

Sprint Buyback and Project Connect, Sprint’s wireless reuse and recycling take-back programs, have kept more than 22 million wireless devices out of landfills and have generated more than $8 million in charitable contributions since 2001. Sprint’s programs place an emphasis on reuse; even when phones are damaged, parts that cannot be reused are recycled. More than 90 percent of the devices Sprint collected in 2009 were reused.

“Sprint takes pride in our commitment to help customers and our industry protect the environment and the communities we serve,” continued Reid. “In addition to continuing to expand our portfolio of green devices – devices that are made of recyclable and post-consumer recycled materials, and which contain low levels of PVCs, BFRs, phthalates and beryllium – our take-back programs ensure old or unused mobile devices are handled responsibly and kept out of the waste stream.”

Sprint Buyback was recently expanded to accept eligible devices from any carrier or manufacturer. The program offers customers a financial incentive to recycle their old or unused devices with Sprint – ranging from $5 to $300 per eligible device. Customers that bring in up to five eligible wireless devices (per 12-month period) receive an immediate account credit for the value of their old device, without having to upgrade an existing device or plan. Customers can take advantage of the program in participating Sprint stores or online at

To increase participation in its Buyback program, Sprint recently began to send text messages to customers to inform them about recycling and reuse options with the company. When a customer agrees to upgrade a device with Sprint, they may receive a message that offers an incentive payment for recycling their old device with Sprint and provides a link to a prepaid mailing label.

Devices that do not qualify for the Sprint Buyback program can be donated to Sprint Project Connect. Sprint Project Connect is a recycling service that accepts all used wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition. All net proceeds generated from the sale of equipment collected through Sprint Project Connect help to promote free Internet safety resources for kids, parents and educators through Sprint’s 4NetSafetySM program.

In addition, Sprint’s take-back programs help ensure:

    Removal of personal data:
  • It is Sprint’s policy to ensure every handset that is collected through its take-back programs and re-enters the marketplace is cleared of all personal data.
  • Sprint encourages consumers to take appropriate steps to remove data before recycling old devices with Sprint and then works closely with original equipment manufacturers to ensure devices collected are clear of personal data.
  • Sprint vendors are contractually obligated to follow our data-removal policies and are regularly audited by Sprint to confirm compliance.
    Responsible recycling:
  • Sprint and its vendors work to adhere to a Zer0 e-Waste policy (no dumping, landfilling or waste incineration).
  • Waste recycling is conducted only at ISO-140001 certified facilities in OECD (developed) countries.
  • Sprint vendors are contractually obligated to follow Sprint recycling policies and are regularly audited by Sprint to confirm compliance.

Sprint Buyback and Project Connect are helping Sprint reach its ultimate goal to collect nine of every 10 phones sold by 2017 for reuse and recycling, a 90 percent collection rate. Sprint’s wireless reuse and recycling rate at the end of 2009 was 42 percent, well ahead of the industry average.

Beyond recycling, Sprint continues to enhance its leadership in the wireless industry. Sprint is the only U.S. carrier to offer three eco-friendly mobile devices to the U.S. market – Samsung Reclaim™, LG Remarq™ and Samsung Restore™. Sprint was also the first telecom provider to establish a set of green design criteria for consumer devices, complemented by an industry-first environmental “scorecard” to bolster progress toward the new design specifications.

Sprint’s leadership in environmental sustainability continues to receive numerous accolades. For the second year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2010 Green Rankings at No. 6 out of 500 companies, up from No. 15 in 2009. Sprint was also ranked highest among the wireless carrier industry on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.” In addition, Sprint recently received the “Sustainability Leadership Award” at the International Electronics Recycling Conference and Expo (IERCE) for its leadership among wireless carriers in the recycling of mobile handsets.

For more information on Sprint’s recycling programs, go to To learn more about Sprint’s programs that protect the environment, go to or follow @SprintGreenNews on Twitter.

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 served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and



Sarabeth Patch, 703-689-8797