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AT&T and Cell Phones for Soldiers Recycle 2.5 Million Wireless Devices


Wireless Users, AT&T and CPFS Have Helped Avoid 153 Tons of E-Waste in the Past Year; New Advocacy Campaign Launching to Reach More Young People Across the U.S.

Dallas, Texas, With Earth Day only days away, AT&T* and Cell Phones For Soldiers (CPFS) are celebrating a new milestone: With the help of thousands of wireless customers across the country, AT&T and the charity have recycled more than 2.5 million wireless devices since Earth Day 2008, beating their Earth Day 2009 goal by more than 700,000 phones.

CPFS recycles used cell phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for U.S. troops overseas. Last Earth Day, AT&T and CPFS invited wireless customers to help the charity collect at least 1.8 million phones by Earth Day 2009 — that’s twice the number of devices the charity had collected in the same time period the year before.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 10 percent of all cell phones that are discarded are actually recycled. CPFS’s recycling partner, ReCellular, estimates that recycling 2.5 million phones has prevented more than 153 tons of e-waste from entering landfills, the environmental equivalent of:

* Saving enough energy to power nearly 7,709 U.S. households for a year.
* Avoiding the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as removing more than 5,546 passenger cars from the roads for a year.
* And keeping more than 4 tons of toxic materials out of landfills.

AT&T offers two ways for consumers to donate phones. Wireless customers of any carrier can drop off used cell phones and accessories at any of the 2,000-plus AT&T stores across the U.S. Or, they can download free shipping labels from**

“At AT&T, we know that if we make wireless recycling even easier for our customers—and all wireless users—they can do more of it,” said Ralph de la Vega, AT&T president and chief executive officer. “The response we’ve seen in the past year is a great example of the kind of contagious enthusiasm our customers have for supporting the environment and the men and women serving our country.”

To celebrate this year’s recycling milestone, AT&T will help CPFS unveil a new advocacy program to reach thousands of young people across the country. The effort will highlight the charity’s dual mission, inviting consumers to do “double duty” for the environment and military families by recycling wireless devices. The charity estimates that the proceeds generated from recycling since Earth Day 2008 have enabled the purchase of over 250,000 prepaid phone cards for the troops – helping to fulfill the average 7,000 requests per week it receives from military members and their loved ones.

“We started this charity to help the soldiers, and that’s always going to be our mission,” said CPFS co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “But what we’ve learned along the way—by working with AT&T—is that we’re also helping the world in another way: by fighting e-waste. We think it’s really important to help the environment and help soldiers call home. And we’re turning up the volume on our efforts to spread the word, with the help of AT&T.”

Beginning this summer, AT&T and CPFS will launch cell phone recycling drives through the American Camp Association® (ACA). ACA represents camps and youth programs nationwide. Teens and tweens who are enjoying the environment and learning leadership skills at camp, will compete to see who can create the most environmentally-friendly and creative cell phone recycling bins. An award will also be given to the camp that collects the most used phones from their communities. CPFS teen founders will make an appearance at a leading camp later this summer to talk about leadership and taking action to support the environment and fight e-waste.

AT&T Extends Recycling Into the Community
Another way AT&T works to fight e-waste is through the added support of the AT&T Pioneers. Since Earth Day 2008, this organization of more than 300,000 AT&T volunteers has been working to expand the charity’s cell phone donation drives in communities across the United States. Since last spring, volunteer efforts have collected more than 25,000 wireless phones for recycling, and volunteers continue to collect phones in corporate offices and community locations to support the environment and to help keep military families connected with free phone cards.

To help consumers conduct local donation drives, AT&T and CPFS provide a free “starter kit,” available online at The toolkit includes environmental tips, planning tools, camera-ready artwork for recycling bins and other relevant materials.

**AT&T encourages consumers to remove all data from their phones before donating. See or to learn how.

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.

In celebration of Earth Day, AT&T is offering tips on ways consumers can use technology to make a difference in the environment at 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.

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. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at


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