Do you have an old cell phone lying around you no longer need? If so, this is the week to do something about it. That’s right… it is National Cell Phone Recycling Week. Reportedly, 100 million cell phones are thrown away every year. If these phones were recycled, it would save enough energy to power 18,000 homes for a year. We all love getting a new cell phone with the latest technology and features, but we tend to neglect our old one. "I have two old cell phones in my car right now,” reported Wilmingtonian Dan Sunbeck. The Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with leading cell phone companies for a national campaign, encouraging Americans to recycle unwanted cell phones. "If somebody asked me to donate my cell phone of course I would do it,” Sunbeck said. Cell phones and personal digital assistants, or PDAs, are made of precious metals and plastics. Recycling keeps these materials out of landfills and prevents air and water pollution. It also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that occur during manufacturing. Last year, cell phones companies and service providers collected 11 million old phones. This reportedly saved enough energy to provide more than 2,000 homes with electricity for an entire year. "Being a green month right now, it's been a major push inside Verizon Wireless to get this done. We want to help the environment as much as we can,” said data consultant Chad Dalton. There's another reason to recycle your cell, "If it's no longer good to you, it may be good to somebody else,” said Stephanie Barber-Mueller of Raleigh. Many companies donate the phones to charities. Verizon Wireless gives them to domestic violence shelters and AT&T supports Cell Phones for Soldiers. Dropping off your old phone only takes a minute, and it can make a big difference. You can still recycle your phones for free after this week is over. Most cell phone companies and charities collect phones, chargers, batteries, and accessories year round… in any condition and from any wireless service provider. Even if the cell phone is not able to make a call, they can use the parts to fix other phones.
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