RecycleForUS.com, an industry-funded national cell phone recycling initiative, officially begins operations on Friday, July 1, just two months after the successful launch of a similar statewide web site, RecycleForCalifornia.com.
Individuals and organizations will be able to use the www.RecycleforUS.com website to turn in old cell phones and collect cash for each collected phone that has re-marketable value.
Individual consumers will be able to sell their cell phones for cash on the RecycleForUS.com website. Non-profit organizations, businesses and city, county and state government agencies will be able to collect old cell phones from their members, customers, employees, residents or organizations. All program materials and shipping are free to collecting organizations and all cell phones collected will be accepted.
Cell phones rhat cannot be reused will be recycled, with no hazardous materials entering landfills. Before donating their phone, consumers should deactivate their service and remove all personal information.
With millions of old cell phones being retired every year, RecycleForUS.com has the potential to generate millions of dollars for Americans while keeping environmentally-damaging cell phones out of land fills.
"There are more than 500 million used cellular phones in the U.S., and 130 million more will be replaced this year," said James Mosieur, CEO of RecycleForUS.com and its parent company, RMS Communications Group Inc. "This cell phone collection program will put cash in peoples" hands, raise money for communities and non-profits, and keep hazardous material out of our landfills."
RecycleForUS.com will also help provide affordable cell phones to people in countries where landline telephone communications are not well established.
"Many of these phones will be sent overseas to countries where a cellular phone may be the only means of long distance communications," Mosieur said. "Others will be used for emergency services and given to shelters and senior citizen groups throughout the U.S."
RecycleForUS.com is funded and operated by RMS Communications Group Inc., a Florida-based company that has been in the used cell phone recycling business since the mid-1990s. The company buys old cell phones through a number of websites, including www.cellforcash.com (for consumers) and www.wirelessfundraiser.com (for non-profit groups).
RecycleForCalifornia.com was established in April in response to a law passed by the California Legislature in 2004 which requires cell phone retailers to have no cost take-back and recycling programs in place by 2006.
RecycleForCalifornia.com got off to a very impressive start, processing more than 1,000 old cell phones in its first week of operation. Now, little more than two months later, nearly 200 businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations have signed up to participate in the California program.
"We are hoping for an equally dramatic start for RecycleForUS.com," Mosieur said.
RecycleForUS.com will pay between a few dollars to well over $100 per phone. Phones that are not re-marketable may be donated to domestic violence shelters, senior centers or other worthwhile organizations. The remaining cell phones are carefully recycled in an environmentally friendly fashion.