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Sprint's Ambitious Recycling Program is a Win-Win for Customers Upgrading to a Pre

Mon Feb 23, 2009 - 1:10 PM EST - By Annie Latham


Lost among all the Palm Pre news and Sprint's earnings report, was a story about Sprint's cell phone recycling program. Anyone eyeing an upgrade to a Pre might want to pay attention because there’s money to be had for your old Treo or Centro.

Current Sprint customers are eligible for Sprint's Buyback Program, which offers credit on your account balance (the amount of the credit is based on the return of an eligible handset and battery). Here's a quick rundown of the numbers. If you have a Centro, Treo755p, Treo 800w or Treo 850 Pro, you will get a $50 credit if you choose to participate. If you have a Treo 700p, it is $35. If you have a Treo 700wx, it is $10. No amount was listed for the Treo 650. Chances are that would qualify for Sprint's second recycle program, called Sprint Project Connect that is open to those who aren’t Sprint customers.

Sprint Project Connect has actually been in place since April 2002. It is a free service for anyone who has wireless phones, batteries, accessories and connection cards that they no longer use. All makes and models are accepted, regardless of condition or service provider.

Sprint has set a goal of recovering 90% of old phones for reuse or recycle by 2017 and is putting in place an aggressive marketing program to get the word out which includes a YouTube video showing the deconstruction of a phone and some of the things that come out of it for recycling. Sprint's spokesperson, Alexander Hahn told MediaPost that materials from cell phones could be used in other products ranging from jewelry to asphalt to lawn furniture.

"We're going to show consumers the size of our recycling program and try to put it into a larger context." - Alexander Hahn, Sprint spokesperson.

Some Fast Facts:

  • There are about 270 million cell phone users in the United States.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers has at least one old unused mobile phone.
  • Every year more than 140 million cell phones are discarded, with most of them going to landfills or incinerators.
  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (which is working with Sprint on the recycling program), for every one million phones recycled, enough energy could be saved to provide electricity to 2,000 U.S. homes a year.

To learn more about Sprint recycling programs, go to www.sprint.com/recycle.

Sprint's recycling program is good for the environment and puts a little money back in your pocket if you are a Sprint customer. These days, every little bit helps.

Update: Here's some additional information regarding Sprint's Buyback Program.

On the Sprint Buyback site if you select PalmOne instead of Palm you can see the buyback prices for the older models (i.e. Treo 600, Treo 650). The amount is $10.

Special thanks to Scott for the tip!

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