APRIL 2009

New phone brigade program launched

ReCellular announced a new strategic partnership with TerraCycle. By the end of the year, the partnership hopes to have over 1,000 brigades that collect and donate cell phones, raise funds for local causes and keep e-waste out of landfills.

Anyone can sign up to participate in the TerraCycle Phone Brigade. For program details and to donate cell phones, click here.

After registration, volunteers will receive donation boxes for collecting and shipping phones. Like other Brigade programs, volunteers will be compensated for each item they collect - which provides schools and other grassroots organizations with an innovative way to augment their strained budgets.

More significantly, TerraCycle has found that the Brigade programs offer a turn-key environmental education program that empowers kids to make a difference in their own future.

After volunteers donate cell phones through the Brigade, the phones will be delivered to the Michigan-based ReCellular phone processing facility. There, phones are either refurbished and reprogrammed for reuse, or are recycled to reclaim materials needed to make new electronics equipment - such as precious metals from circuit boards, heavy metals from batteries.

The partnership provides a solution for TerraCycle to expand their upcycling efforts to include consumer electronics. TerraCycle first launched the Brigade concept in 2006, paying schools and non-profits to collect 20-ounce soda bottles. TerraCycle’s Brigade concept quickly became a grassroots phenomenon, with more than 20,000 participating locations by the end of 2008. In just two years, the programs raised more than $100,000, primarily donated to public-school organizations, and rescued and reused tens of millions of soda bottles, yogurt cups, and snack wrappers.

Based on the success of their bottle and wrapper brigades, TerraCycle decided to expand their upcycling collections to help address the estimated 65,000 tons of cell phones that are discarded every year.