Office Depot Joins Free Cell Phone and Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program

Office Depot Joins Free Cell Phone and Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program

Partnering with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, a nonprofit public service organization dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries and cell phones, Office Depot is now collecting used phones and rechargeable batteries for recycling at all of its 960 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

"Office Depot sells Sprint, Nextel, and T-Mobile wireless products and services, as well as a large variety of other electronics and business machines that use rechargeable batteries," said Tyler Elm, director of environmental affairs for Office Depot. "The holiday season is the perfect time to introduce our free, in-store cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program as many consumers are looking to upgrade to the latest technologies. We urge consumers to make the smart choice by bringing their old cell phones and rechargeable batteries to Office Depot for free recycling and safe disposal during this purchase process."

As part of RBRC's Call2Recycle program, Office Depot will collect, free of charge, all old cell phones and used rechargeable batteries for recycling, including nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, and small sealed lead weighing less than 2 lbs/1 kg. These batteries are also commonly found in other portable office electronics products including cordless phones, laptop computers, PDAs, digital cameras, and portable printers.

While rechargeable batteries reduce waste by being reused again and again -- replacing between 50 to 300 single-use disposal batteries -- they contain potentially harmful chemicals and should be safely disposed of at an Office Depot location instead of in normal household trash.

"We are pleased that Office Depot has decided to integrate RBRC's battery and cell phone recycling program into its stores," said Ralph Millard, executive vice president, RBRC. "It's partnerships like these that have greatly increased our efforts to recycle as many rechargeable batteries and cell phones as possible nationwide."

All rechargeable batteries collected in partnership with RBRC are recycled in a state-of-the art metals reclamation facility in Ellwood City, Penn., with no by-products being sent to a landfill. Nickel and iron recovered from batteries are used in the production of stainless steel; cadmium is purified and used in Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries. Cell phones are refurbished, recycled, or resold when possible. A portion of the proceeds received from the resale benefits select charities, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America.