New initiative allows New Brunswickers to recycle wireless devices

FREDERICTON (CNB) – April 9th, 2009 –New Brunswickers may now recycle used wireless devices through the Recycle My Cell program, managed by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).

The announcement was made today in Fredericton by Environment Minister Roland Haché, and Bernard Lord, CWTA president and CEO.

“I invite all New Brunswickers to take full advantage of this progressive program,” said Haché. “Instead of throwing their old cell phone in a drawer, a desk or in the garbage, New Brunswickers should visit www.RecycleMyCell.ca for more information on how to recycle their old devices. Taking advantage of this program will help us reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills every year.”

The goal of the program is for fewer cell phones and related wireless products to end up in the province’s landfills. The initiative will see used cell phones and cell phone equipment being refurbished or recycled to make other products.

“Our wireless industry partners have long been operating many recycling programs, and because they were extremely successful, we knew that creating a hub could only help to increase our already impressive recycling rates,” said Lord. “On behalf of the industry, I welcome all New Brunswickers in this new partnership to further protect our environment and enrich our communities.”

This free initiative informs New Brunswickers where and how to recycle cell phones and other wireless devices, such as air cards, batteries and chargers,regardless of carrier, brand or condition.

After the device has been donated, either at a designated drop-off point or sent by mail, it is sent to a recycling plant where it can be refurbished or taken apart for scrap. Proceeds from the sale of refurbished phones and scrap materials are donated to numerous national and local charities, including the World Wildlife Fund, Tree Canada, and New Brunswick food banks.

“I commend the CWTA and its president and CEO Bernard Lord, for its commitment to corporate responsibility in the area of environmental stewardship,” Haché said. “Government is very encouraged and supportive of the leadership role the wireless communications industry is showing in managing its waste material. This proactive, voluntary management approach is something that the rest of the electronics industry should be considering.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700
Marc Choma, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, 613-233-4888, ext. 207

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