MARCH 2009

Sprint sets 90 percent wireless recycling goal

Sprint has announced the wireless carrier’s goal of reaching a 90 percent 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 “Zero 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 leading the industry in conserving natural resources, decreasing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

In 2008, Sprint collected more than 3 million units, equal to 34 percent of devices sold, an increase from 22 percent in 2007.
More than 90 percent of the handsets collected were reused.

A recent Sprint survey examining consumers’ mobile phone recycling habits found that 9 out of 10 surveyed own at least 1 and as many as 5 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.

•Sprint customers can participate in the Sprint Buyback program by going to 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. Postage-paid envelopes are available at any Sprint-owned retail store, and are included in the box with most new phones sold by Sprint. Postage-paid mailing labels are also available at 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.

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.