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Office Depot cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program

Initiates RBRC’s Call2Recycle™ program at all U.S. and Canadian retail locations

Buying or receiving a new cell phone, but not sure of what to do with your old one? Recycle it—and do something good for the environment!

Office Depot now offers consumers a convenient and cost-free method for recycling old cell phones and rechargeable batteries.

Partnering with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit, public service organization dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries and cell phones, Office Depot is now collecting used phones and rechargeable batteries for recycling at all 960 Office Depot locations in the U.S. and Canada.

“Office Depot sells Sprint, Nextel and T-Mobile wireless products and services, as well as a large variety of other electronics and business machines that use rechargeable batteries,” said Tyler Elm, Director of Environmental Affairs for Office Depot. “The holiday season is the perfect time to introduce our free, in-store cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program as many consumers are looking to upgrade to the latest technologies. We urge consumers to make the smart choice by bringing their old cell phones and rechargeable batteries to Office Depot for free recycling and safe disposal during this purchase process.”

Office Depot will collect, free of charge, all old cell phones and used rechargeable batteries for recycling, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead (Pb) weighing less than 2 lbs/1 kg. These batteries are also commonly found in other portable office electronics products including cordless phones, laptop computers, PDAs, digital cameras, and portable printers.

While rechargeable batteries reduce waste by being reused again and again – replacing between 50 to 300 single-use disposal batteries – they contain potentially harmful chemicals and should be safely disposed of at your local Office Depot store instead of in normal household trash.

“We are pleased that Office Depot has decided to integrate RBRC’s battery and cell phone recycling program into its stores,” said Ralph Millard, Executive Vice President, RBRC. “It’s partnerships like these that have greatly increased our efforts to recycle as many rechargeable batteries and cell phones as possible nationwide.”

All rechargeable batteries collected in partnership with RBRC are recycled in a state-of-the art metals reclamation facility in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, with no by-products being sent to a landfill. Nickel and iron recovered from batteries are used in the production of stainless steel; cadmium is purified and used in Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries. Cell phones are refurbished, recycled or resold when possible. A portion of the proceeds received from the resale benefits select charities, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Cell Phone and Battery Facts
According to research and industry studies:

In 2005, roughly 200 million cell phones were in use in the U.S., and approximately 130 million phones will be retired each year.*
A total of 500 million used cell phones weighing more than 250,000 tons are estimated to be currently stockpiled, awaiting disposal.*
Cell phones contain hazardous substances, which can pollute the air when burned in incinerators and leach into soil and drinking water when buried in landfills.*
The average American cell phone user has a total of three or more cell phones in their possession.**
More than 56% of the American population still stores their old cell phones and over 70% are not aware that cell phones can be recycled.**
95% of Americans own at least one type of cordless product powered by rechargeable batteries. Americans use an average of five cordless products in their daily lives.***
Since 1996, more than 25 million pounds of rechargeable batteries have been collected by RBRC and diverted from entering the solid waste stream. That’s equivalent to the weight of approximately 1,260 yellow school buses. ***

* Conducted by environmental nonprofit INFORM, Inc.
** Conducted by market research firm NOP World
*** RBRC

Office Depot Electronics Recycling
Office Depot’s cell phone and battery recycling program is one of the many initiatives the retailer has undertaken to promote environmental stewardship. In 2004, Office Depot launched the first free nationwide electronics recycling drive. The seven-week program at all of Office Depot’s U.S. locations, collected more than 10.5 million pounds unwanted consumer electronics – more than 450 tractor trailer loads – for recycling.

This was the largest single electronics recycling event in U.S. history with Office Depot collecting nearly 5,000 cell phones and more than 320,000 other consumer electronics during the drive, many of which used a rechargeable power source.

Other environmental initiatives by Office Depot, including the Industry’s first independently audited Environmental Stewardship Report, can be viewed at


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