AT&T Turns Up the Volume on Cell Phone Recycling and Extends Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

AT&T Continues Recycling with Customers in Stores, Online and in Communities Across the U.S.

Estimates Recycling 14 Million Wireless Devices by 2011

Dallas, Texas, July 24, 2009


AT&T* is turning up the volume on cell phone recycling — and extending its commitment to environmental sustainability — with new initiatives in all 2,000-plus AT&T stores, community locations, online, and through continued advocacy programs with wireless users nationwide. AT&T estimates it will collect roughly 14 million wireless devices for recycling by the end of 2011, which is the environmental equivalent of keeping more than 920 tons of primary materials and more than 13 tons of toxic waste out of landfills.**

AT&T is expanding its efforts to fight e-waste through the following initiatives:

  • AT&T continues to provide recycling drop-off spots via all 2,000-plus retail locations nationwide, and it offers free prepaid shipping labels online at
  • AT&T has added two more ways to help make recycling easy for wireless users: free, prepaid mailing envelopes in stores and online (
  • Through August 2009, AT&T is working with the American Camp Association (ACA) to share its recycling mission with over 2 million children, tweens, and teens across the U.S.
  • AT&T is promoting wireless recycling efforts at AT&T-sponsored music and movie festivals through 2010.
  • AT&T’s volunteer organization, the AT&T Pioneers, continues community-based recycling drives across the U.S.
  • AT&T continues to offer free donation drive toolkits online, including templates for recycling bins and tips for wiping data from old phones before recycling.

As announced Monday, AT&T has revamped its retail locations across the country. In conjunction with the makeovers, AT&T stores are adding two more avenues for recycling: AT&T is recycling its old cell phone collection bins and replacing them with new bins that offer visitors a drop-off spot and free mailing envelopes they can use to recycle phones and accessories after they leave the store. And, the refreshed now allows wireless users to request free prepaid mailing envelopes that can be mailed to them at home.

“We encourage wireless users to do what they can to reuse or recycle old cell phones because they’re made of valuable materials like precious metals, copper, and plastics - all of which require energy to extract and manufacture,” said Matt Hale, Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery at the Environmental Protection Agency. “When you recycle cell phones, you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep valuable material out of landfills and incinerators, and conserve natural resources.”

Phones recycled through AT&T stores, community drives and online tools are the customer-facing efforts that have added volume to AT&T’s broader corporate recycling work. AT&T collected 4.5 million wireless devices and 1.3 million pounds of accessories and batteries in 2008, keeping them out of landfills. AT&T also recycles wireless phones that are returned through other channels, sending phones at the end of their lifecycles to recycling plants.

AT&T’s recycling efforts will continue to support Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS), a not-for-profit organization that recycles used wireless phones to buy phone cards for military families. AT&T will match its 2008 recycling totals with the charity, year to year, through 2010. It aims to help provide CPFS with roughly $1 million in recycling proceeds in that time.

“At AT&T, we’re working to help make recycling easy for wireless users,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, devices. “No matter what make or model of phone — or which wireless carrier you use — we encourage you to recycle with us because it makes a positive impact on the world where we all live and work. Working together, we hope to help reuse and recycle millions more cell phones.”

Recycling in the Community

Last year, AT&T’s volunteer organization, the AT&T Pioneers, extended wireless recycling beyond AT&T retail locations and into the community. Since 2008, their work has recovered more than 25,000 phones, working with community-based groups and non-AT&T locations. Volunteers continue these projects today, and they are also working with AT&T stores across the country to recycle the remaining cell phone collection bins that are being retired.

Through August 2009, AT&T is working with ACA outdoor camps, where young people are competing to collect the most phones and create the most environmentally-friendly and most creative recycling bins. Recycling efforts will also reach attendees at AT&T-sponsored music festivals this summer and Campus MovieFest this fall, which is estimated to attract more than a million college students across the country.

AT&T and Sustainability

Encouraging cell phone recycling is one way AT&T is working to tackle environmental issues. AT&T recently announced plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T also works to enhance energy performance and reduce energy consumption and has begun to use alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. AT&T helps customers further manage their own environmental impact through intelligent use of AT&T products and services, such as teleconferencing, video conferencing and other broadband applications.

For more information about how you can recycle with AT&T please visit For more information about AT&T’s sustainability efforts, please visit

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**Environmental equivalents provided by ReCellular using the **Electronic Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC), developed by The University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T | DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

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