The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching Tuesday a $175,000 program to promote cell-phone recycling, reports The New York Times.
The federal agency will partner with retailers, manufacturers and service providers on the program, called "Recycle Your Cellphone. It's an Easy Call." The agency estimates as many as 150 million cell phones are taken out of service each year, all of which contain metals, plastics, glass and chemicals that it wants to keep out of landfills and prevent from leaching into the ground. It also notes many old cell phones still work and can be used by charities or distributed to poor people.
It plans collection drives and education programs to increase the rate of recycling, estimated so far to be only about 20 percent a year.