Mobile Device Recycling Program
Type of Initiative:
Extended producer responsibility – mandatory (British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) / voluntary (all other provinces)
The program covers all mobile/wireless devices that connect to a cellular or paging network, including all cell phones, smartphones, wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs), external aircards and pagers. In addition, headsets, chargers and other accessories are also accepted.
Summary of Initiative
Recycle My Cell is a free national industry-led recycling program for mobile devices. The program is run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) in conjunction with cell phone carriers, handset manufacturers and certified processors.
Consumers and the general public can return mobile devices and accessories to any of the drop-off collection sites, which include retail stores, or they can mail them using a pre-paid mailing label.
Recycle My Cell has received regulatory approval from the province of Nova Scotia (October 2008) and British Columbia (November 2009). Recycle My Cell has also been formally recognized as the official cellular phone stewardship program within the provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick (March 2009), Manitoba (April 2009), Newfoundland and Labrador (July 2009), Saskatchewan (November 2009) and Alberta (June 2011). In all remaining provinces it operates on a voluntary basis.
Targets are currently being developed in partnership with each province where the program has received either regulatory or formal recognition.
The Recycle My Cell Web site links participating cell phone recycling programs together and allows consumers to enter their postal code to locate the 10 drop-off locations closest to them where their devices will be accepted, regardless of brand or condition. There are over 4,000 drop-off locations across Canada.
In addition, consumers are also able to access pre-paid mailing labels and other important information, including how to remove personal data from their devices before recycling them.
Drop-off locations and pre-paid mailing labels can be found on the Recycle My Cell Web site. Consumers without access to the internet can call 1-888-797-1740 to receive information.
There is no fee or charge to consumers for recycling their wireless devices or accessories.
Program Monitoring & Reporting:
Annual Reports are submitted to provincial governments outlining the performance of the program on several performance indicators over the course of the previous calendar year.
Provincial annual reports are posted on the CWTA Web site and are available to the public.
In 2009, the program collected 297,694 cell phones nationally. The majority of cell phones were collected in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Recycle My Cell
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
1110-130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
Toll free: 1-888-797-1740
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