Phi Theta Kappa Collects Cell Phones for Recycling

With more than 200 million wireless subscribers in the US today, the need to keep used wireless phones out of local landfills is more important than ever. The Genesee Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is doing their part to reduce wireless waste by collecting used cellular phones as part of Keep America Beautiful’s Wipe Out Wireless Waste project.

This campaign makes it easy for anyone to recycle their mobile phone equipment and in turn provides funding to Keep America Beautiful that supports diverse hands-on stewardship activities such as cleanups of public lands and waterways, tree and flower plantings, and recycling activities. A 2005 CEA consumer survey found that 76 percent of consumers are unaware of their local electronics recycling options. Of that 76 percent, 71 percent said they would recycle if they only knew where to do so.

“This is a great opportunity for people to dispose of their old cell phones in an environmentally friendly way,” said Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry and Phi Theta Kappa advisor. “Phi Theta Kappa is happy to provide this service to the college and community.”

The average lifespan of a wireless phone is 9 to 18 months. Phones are being discarded at a rate of 125 million phones a year, which results in over 65,000 tons of wireless waste. The most eco-friendly thing that can be done with an old phone is to reuse it. Recycling phones ensures that the toxic materials they contain don’t end up in landfills.

The phones that Phi Theta Kappa collects will be refurbished and reused or smelted down for metals and plastics at an EPA regulated facility that is ISO14001 certified. Phi Theta Kappa will be accepting phones through the month of October. Old phones may be dropped off at the Business Office on the first floor at the Batavia campus, the Math/Science Suite on the third floor (D Building), or at the Marketing Communications office (D-110). Please be sure to deactivate service and clear all personal information from your wireless phone before recycling it.

For more information contact Rafael Alicea-Maldonado at 585-343-0055 x6391.