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Waste Not
Sprint Breaks Guinness World Record for Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week

Sprint has long been the industry leader in cell phone recycling. Now the wireless carrier has a Guinness World Records® achievement to prove it.

This week Guinness World Records recognized Sprint for shattering the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones, more than double the previous record.

“We are committed to keeping old cell phones out of landfills and are so pleased that our customers supported us during this record-setting week, as they regularly do throughout the year,” said Jaime Jones, senior vice president of consumer sales at Sprint.

Through its standard phone take-back programs including Sprint Buyback and other device-collection initiatives, Sprint continues to highlight the importance of phone recycling and reuse with its customers. Junk drawers filled with old phones that eventually find their way to landfills contribute to electronic waste, which continues to be the fastest-growing waste stream in the United States.

Sprint was the first wireless carrier in the U.S. to initiate a device trade-in program granting instant credit for eligible devices from any carrier in Sprint retail stores. Today, more than four out of every 10 customers in Sprint retail stores participate in the buyback program. These recycling programs have helped create more than $1 billion in cost avoidance for the company, putting more than $100 million back in customers’ pockets in 2012 alone.

Since 2001, Sprint has reclaimed enough mobile devices to divert 12.5 million pounds of e-waste from landfills. As part of a network-wide updating and decommissioning project, Sprint projects to reuse and recycle an additional 100 million pounds of e-waste in 2013 and 2014 — part of an effort that should improve service for customers and significantly reduce Sprint’s electricity consumption and carbon footprint.

“Sprint continues to demonstrate its commitment to mobile phone recycling programs and the benefits they bring to Sprint customers, the wireless industry and the environment,” said Kate Pearce, analyst at Compass Intelligence, which ranked Sprint No. 1 among national carriers for its Buyback program for the last two years. “Its Buyback program and other reuse/recycling initiatives continue to be examples of leadership for the industry.”

As part of its Electronics Stewardship Policy, which highlights Sprint’s efforts to work with only certified recyclers to achieve its aggressive recycling goals, Sprint aims to collect an average of nine devices for every 10 devices sold by 2017. Sprint has also taken steps to promote environmental sustainability in production of new devices and packaging. Sprint is the only carrier to partner with the EPA, as part of the agency’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, and has been ranked No. 3 on Newsweek’s Green Rankings for two years in a row — the only wireless carrier to crack the list’s top 25.

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