April 02, 2009

Sprint-EPA Partnership Calls Upon Consumers to Recycle Unused Phones in April

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 2, 2009-- Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today its support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inaugural “Plug-In To eCycling National Cell Phone Recycling Week” April 6-12, 2009. In recognition of the initiative, Sprint has set a goal to collect 250,000 phones in April, a 25 percent increase over last April’s collection rate. Sprint will collect phones throughout the month of April to boost recovery and enable consumers to mail-in phones beyond the official campaign week.

Sprint’s participation in EPA’s National Cell Phone Recycling Week falls in step with its goal announced earlier this year - to collect nine phones for reuse and recycling for every 10 phones Sprint sells by 2017, a collection rate of 90 percent. As evidenced by its partnership with the EPA, Sprint is committed to raising awareness of the environmental benefits of wireless recycling and to encourage consumers to recycle their unused phones.

“Sprint is working closely with the EPA to increase consumer participation in eCycling efforts,” said Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president of corporate social responsibility. “With more than 100 million cell phones retired every year in the U.S., Sprint, EPA and other partners are teaming to get the word out about cell phone recycling. Participation in EPA’s National Cell Phone Recycling Week is another integral step in increasing consumer participation in eCycling. Reaching our collection target for April will be another step toward our ultimate goal, reaching a 90 percent collection rate by 2017.”

A recent Sprint survey found that nine out of 10 Sprint customers own at least one, and as many as five, unused cell phones. To encourage consumers to participate, Sprint is activating an extensive communications campaign to reach more than 15 million customers. Sprint has also added the ability for customers to print out postage-paid wireless recycling labels at touch screens located at all Sprint-owned retail stores throughout the United States.

“EPA thanks Sprint for its continued efforts to increase cell phone recycling,” said Matt Hale, EPA’s Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. “Sprint has stepped forward on eCycling and is helping consumers to reduce their impact on the environment through comprehensive recycling initiatives. We encourage all Americans to participate in National Cell Phone Recycling Week. When used cell phones are reused or recycled, it helps conserve and protect finite natural resources. In fact, we estimate that if Americans recycled the 100 million cell phones that are no longer used, we could save enough energy to power more than 18,500 U.S. homes for a year.”

Sprint is leading the industry in wireless recycling. Since 2001, Sprint wireless recycling programs have diverted more than 16 million cell phones from landfills for reuse or recycling. Sprint’s collection rate is just under 35 percent, over three times the national recycling average.

A member of EPA’s Plug-In program since 2007, Sprint has established a “Zer0 e-Waste” policy to ensure that phones are recycled safely, ethically and responsibly. To encourage consumer awareness and participation, Sprint offers two free and easy programs: Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project Connect(SM).

  • Sprint Buyback allows Sprint customers to return eligible Sprint or Nextel devices in exchange for account credit. Customers can participate in the Sprint Buyback program by going to www.sprint.com/recycle, calling toll-free (866) 364-5680 or going to any of the more than 1,200 Sprint-owned retail stores nationwide.
  • Sprint Project Connect 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. 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 and the NEA Health Information Network.

For more information on Sprint programs that protect the environment, go to: http://www.sprint.com/responsibility/sustainability.html. To print out a 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 25 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 49 million customers at the end of the fourth 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.

Source: Sprint

Alexander Hahn