Albertans Called on to Recycle Used Cell Phones

More than 500 drop-off locations available across Alberta

CALGARY – June 10, 2011 – A new partnership between the Government of Alberta and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association is making it easier for Albertans to recycle their used mobile phone devices.

Currently, 15 per cent of cell phones in Alberta are collected for recycling. A memorandum of understanding signed today between government and industry is expected to increase that figure to 37 per cent by 2015. For each device returned through the program, a donation will also bemade to participating charities, including the World Wildlife Fund, Tree Canada and Food Banks Canada.

“I encourage Albertans to recycle their used cell phones and wireless devices,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “This one simple act will keep these electronics out of our landfills and, at the same time, help local charities in Alberta communities.”

The Recycle my Cell website contains information on how to recycle used cell phones, and includes a list of 574 drop-off locations in 78 communities across Alberta. Once collected, used cell phones and equipment are refurbished or recycled to create other products.

“Alberta has already shown national leadership with a number of stewardship programs including paint, tires, electronics, beverage containers and used oil,” said Environment Minister Rob Renner. “We all have a role to play to protect the environment, and this partnership demonstrates how government, industry, and Albertans can come together to make a big difference.”

The goal of the Recycle My Cell program is to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling and to keep handsetsfrom entering Canada’s landfills. This free program is organized by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) in conjunction withcell phone service providers, handset manufacturers and recycling companies.

“Canada’s wireless industry extends its appreciation to the Government of Alberta for including the Recycle My Cell program as part of its longstanding commitment to environmental protection,” said CWTA President Bernard Lord. “Recycling cell phones is easier than ever, and now it also enriches our communities.”

Drop-off centres can be found online at www.recyclemycell.ca or by calling 1-888-797-1740. Alternatively, Albertans can mail mobile devices for recycling at no cost using a prepaid shipping label. To ensure personal data is kept private, visit the website for instructions to clear the mobile device before dropping it off for recycling.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Leanne Behrns
Communications
Alberta Environment
780-427-6267
To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Marc Choma
Director of Communications
CWTA
613-233-4888 ext. 207
mchoma@cwta.ca