Q: I've been hearing a lot about tech waste lately. Is there an easy way to recycle my old cell phone?

A: You’re in luck – the EPA just joined up with top cell phone service providers and retailers, and it’s now embarrassingly easy for you to give your old cell phone the gift of reincarnation. The program is part of the EPA’s Plug-in to eCyclng campaign, which has recycled more than 142 million pounds of electronics since 2003. You may already have seen some of their recent ads: “Recycle Your Cell Phone. It’s An Easy Call.” Thousands of convenient cell phone drop-off spots are set up all over the country; visit www.epa.gov/cellphones to find one near you, or to learn about where to mail your phone in. And if you start to wonder if it’s worth the effort, remind yourself that if we recycled the more than 100 million cell phones no longer being used, the energy saved could power 194,000 U.S. homes for a year.

Story by Tobin Hack. This article originally appeared in Plenty in March 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008