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World Relief Spokane's Cell Phone and Electronics Recycling Program

Upgrading your cell phone? Have old cell phones at home that you don’t use or that don’t work? Donate them to World Relief Spokane! We are participating in a cell phone and electronics recycling program. Why?  

Congolese Rebels annually earn $100 million from minerals that end up in consumer electronics in the United States. Consumer electronics like our cell phones. By recycling electronic waste (e-waste), we can reduce the demand for these minerals. An article written about this topic in 2003 states, “Human Rights Watch researchers, working with monitors in the Congo, estimate that at least 10,000 civilians have been killed and 200,000 people have been displaced in northeastern Congo since June 1999.” World Relief Spokane resettles refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo that have fled their homes due to this very conflict.

This is Congo from World Relief on Vimeo.

Recycling cell phones and other electronics keeps them out of our landfills! Did you know that e-wate contains toxic materials such as: arsenic, lead, nickel and cadmium? When they are disposed of in our landfills, they can potentially contaminate the soil and our drinking water. 

Recycling e-waste is a fundraiser for World Relief! The program in which we are participating gives World Relief up to $30 for each cell phone we submit for recycling. The amount we receive depends upon the how new the model. Other items such as an old Disc-man will earn us less, items such as digital cameras will earn more! The funds we receive from this recycling program will go to job training scholarships for refugees in our Match Grant program.

 As you can see cell phone recycling is a win-win-win situation!

List of Items to Collect

  1. Cell phones
  2. Cell phone accessories (spare batteries, chargers, bluetooth devices, etc.)
  3. Digital cameras
  4. Portable music players (ipod, mp3 players, disc-man)
  5. Handheld game systems
  6. GPS devices
  7. E-readers
  8. Laptops
  9. Computer accessories (extra USB cords, computer mice, portable hard drives, thumb drives, etc.) 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have items to donate, what do I do with them? Mail or bring them to World Relief Spokane’s office at the following address:

                World Relief Spokane
                Attn: Sharon Page
                1522 N. Washington St., Suite 204
                Spokane, WA 99201

What kind of cell phones will you accept? All types – old, new, damaged, working, and/broken. If it is a cell phone, we will take it!

Will you accept smart phones? Yes! In fact, smart phones will earn more money for World Relief!

What about the personal data stored in the cell phones?  Please be sure to erase the personal information from the cell phones.  For most phone models, data erasing is a simple process, commonly found in a phone's menu or in the phone's user manual.  The following information comes directly from the recycling program we are working with:

"ECO-CELL does not clear cell phones of data or content left on phones. It is the responsibility of the donating party to cancel or switch service on the phone and to delete any data such as phone numbers, text messages, pictures, emails, documents, etc. that might be on the cell phone.

ECO-CELL sends donated phones to refurbishing companies who often delete any content left on phones, but ECO-CELL cannot guarantee that content will always be deleted. Therefore it is ECO-CELL’s position and recommendation that those wishing to donate a phone take the time to clear phone of all data to ensure maximum privacy."

Is there a tax-deduction for donating my old electronics? Yes, if you  would like a tax reciept just let us know when you drop of your donation!

Can you accept desktop computers? Unfortunately, we can not accept desktop computers for recycling.  However, sometimes we can reburish them and give them to refugee clients.  If the computer no longer works, we can recomment a local recycling company.  Feel free to contact us to discuss your options!

What happens to the items I donate?  World Relief Spokane sends them to ECO-CELL who will pay us for all the items we send.  ECO-CELL has the following policy: Cell phones that can be reused are refurbished and distributed into developing markets for use by low-income users or to local hospitals for use by patients needing cell phones for 911 calls.  Cell phones that cannot be refurbished and all other e-waste will be taken apart and their materials recycled. 

If you have any additional questions about our recycling program, please contact Sharon Page at spage@wr.org or 509.484.9829 x140.
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