By Marci VerBrugge-Rhind
September 04, 2013
It wasn’t just about breaking a phone recycling record.

We sure are proud, though, that we did. You can understand how excited we were when GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® notified Sprint that we did indeed SMASH the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones to be exact, more than double the existing record!

Truly, it’s an honor to be recognized this way. But this achievement is another indication of the momentum we are enjoying with a continued focus on our phone recycling efforts and strong support of our customers. Today, more than four out of every 10 customers in Sprint retail stores participate in the Sprint Buyback program when they trade-in when they trade-up. Last year alone Sprint put more than $100 million back in customers’ pockets!

With 135 million cell phones discarded every year, left in junk drawers or, worse, landfills, it’s no wonder Sprint has made Sprint Buyback and other phone recycling efforts a priority.  We thought that the week after Earth Day 2013 was a great time to take a crack at breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS ® record to highlight our leadership in this area. After a formal audit by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, they notified Sprint that we did indeed break the record.

Video: Help Sprint give your old phone a second life

But, as we said, it’s not just about shattering records for the sake of the record. Sprint is leading the way in addressing the growing challenge posed by electronic waste, or e-waste.
  • Sprint was the first wireless carrier in the United States to initiate a customer buyback program granting instant credit for eligible devices from any carrier in Sprint retail stores.
  • Sprint also remains the only carrier to offer a buyback program as part of its online shopping experience.
  • We don’t just recycle these cell phones. We’re actually able to reuse nine of every 10 phones we take back. The 10 percent we can’t reuse we recycle and turn those parts into items like jewelry, plumbing fixtures and other electronics.
“Sprint continues to demonstrate its commitment to their mobile phone recycling programs and the benefits they bring to Sprint customers, the wireless industry and the environment,” said Kate Pearce, Analyst at Compass Intelligence who ranked Sprint No. 1 overall for its Buyback program the last two years in a row among national carriers. “Its Buyback program and other reuse/recycling initiatives continue to be examples of leadership for the industry.”

As you can see, at Sprint, we have robust programs, recognition of our leadership and a longstanding commitment to phone recycling. We will continue our work as we pursue aggressive goals.

So, it wasn’t just about breaking the record. But that achievement sure makes us feel good.

More information:

Press release: Sprint Breaks GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Record for the Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week

Sprint Good Works?
Sprint is committed to using our technology, human and financial resources to help make the world a better place. This commitment infuses our business and culture, and it drives our Sprint Good WorksSM program. More than just a name, good works is also a belief: Good does indeed workSM. The good works we perform every day benefit three key subjects: people, product and planet. For people, we demonstrate good works through targeted philanthropic initiatives and a diverse and ethical workforce.

For a better product, we harness the power of innovation to help customers minimize their environmental footprint and increase their safety and security, and to empower seniors and those with disabilities to stay connected through accessible technology. For a healthier planet, we lead the industry with our sustainable business practices and wireless reuse and recycling programs. These are just a few of the ways we demonstrate good works to bring people and resources together for a better world. You can learn more about our good works at