Nokia, Backed by Mayor Bloomberg’s Office, Launches Mobile Device Recycling Campaign in New York City

Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
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Nokia, Backed by Mayor Bloomberg’s Office, Launches Mobile Device Recycling Campaign in New York City

In its ongoing effort to get consumers to recycle their old cell phones -- as opposed to just tossing them in the trash -- Nokia has called in the big guns. Today the company announced that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing its campaign to get New Yorkers to bring their used cell phones to recycling locations or mail them in for recycling.

In a statement issued today, a representative of Mayor Bloomberg’s office commended Nokia’s recycling program and urged all New Yorkers to get involved.

"We applaud Nokia's effort to encourage the proper recycling of unwanted electronics," said Rohit Aggarwala, director of the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. "We hope that every New Yorker will join in and be a part of this effort."

The publicity campaign is to promote the recycling of consumer electronics in advance of America Recycles Day, to be held Nov. 15. New Yorkers, and in fact all consumers, are urged to turn in their old cell phones and cell phone batteries at any Nokia Flagship Store. Also, consumers can mail in their old mobile devices for recycling simply by picking up a postage-paid green mailer at any Nokia Flagship Store. In addition the company has launched a new nation-wide toll free number, 1-87 RECYCLES (877-329-2537), which offers information on how to go about recycling mobile devices.

Nokia has reportedly launched this campaign with a goal of collecting 100,000 unwanted mobile devices between now and America Recycles Day. The campaign will kick off tonight at an International House (I-House) event at the Nokia Flagship Store in Manhattan, where Nokia and global conservation organization WWF will highlight contributions that businesses can make to address environmental issues and promote environmental awareness.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Benefits Calculator, taking back and recycling just 10,000 cell phones conserves enough resources to power 19 US homes for one year, and reduces "greenhouse gas" equaling the same as if we removed 14 passenger cars from the road for one year.

"Environmental responsibility is an obligation for all -- corporations, public institutions and citizens alike," said Rick Simonson, I-house board of trustee's member and chief financial officer for Nokia, in the press release. "If we all play our part, the seemingly small individual efforts can collectively make a significant impact on our community and our future environment."

The need for greater awareness is still very much apparent. A recent Nokia-commissioned survey among 400 New Yorkers showed that about 60 percent had an old device stored away somewhere -- and the same percentage said they had no knowledge of where to take their electronic devices for recycling.

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Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for Customer Interaction Solutions magazine and Assignment Editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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