Province launches Recycle My Cell School Challenge

ST. JOHN’S – October 19, 2010 – The Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation and Leigh Puddester, Chair and CEO of the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) joined Bernard Lord, President and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and School Principal Sheldon Barry, to launch an MMSB Waste Reduction Week campaign titled Recycle My Cell School Challenge today at Mount Pearl Senior High.

“We are very pleased to see the people of the province recycling their old cell phones and helping to keep toxic waste out of our landfills,” said Minister Johnson. “Our government and the MMSB are eager to see these numbers increase for 2010, and we are excited about the launch of the Recycle My Cell School Challenge.  We encourage all schools throughout the province to participate.”

The Recycle My Cell School Challenge is open to all grade schools throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and will run from October 20 through to November 30, 2010. All schools have been provided with cell phone drop-boxes and the challenge is to collect as many cell phones as possible. The MMSB will award $1,000 to the top performing school in each of four regions of the province. To ensure a level playing field, totals will be tallied based on the number of students per school. The prize money will be used toward environmental school initiatives.

The Recycle My Cell program was officially launched in Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28 of last year and a total of 4,161 old cell phones were collected as of the end of December 2009.

“The launch of the MMSB sponsored Recycle My Cell School Challenge today is a testament to Newfoundland and Labrador’s commitment to waste reduction,” remarked Bernard Lord, CWTA’s President and CEO. “On behalf of the industry, I extend our appreciation to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the MMSB for recognizing the wireless industry’s commitment to the environment as well.”

Leigh Puddester said the MMSB is confident they’ll see big results. “The youth of our province are already environmental champions, and by adding a little competition to the mix, we anticipate a very successful program.”

“On behalf of the students of Mount Pearl Senior High, I accept the challenge,” said Sheldon Barry.  “We are definitely a green school and our students love a challenge, so we’re raring to go.”

The MMSB is a provincial Crown agency of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The MMSB supports modern waste management practices in the province with a particular focus on waste diversion, recycling, and public education, in order to ensure a clean and healthy environment throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Recycle My Cell ( http://www.recyclemycell.ca ) is run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), in conjunction with cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers, who have come together to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling. The goal of this program is to keep handsets from entering Canada’s landfills. And just as important, the proceeds from the recycled devices contribute to some great charities at the same time.

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Media contacts:

Melony O’Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928
moneill@gov.nl.ca

Carol Ann Carter
Director of Communications
MMSB
709-757-3696, 689-4795
ccarter@mmsb.nl.ca

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

Sheldon Barry Principal
Mount Pearl Senior High
709-364-8456
sheldonbarry@esdnl.ca