CFPS Recycling Helps Soldiers Phone Home

Posted by at 8:28 pm on July 2, 2009

Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS) and AT&T are celebrating partriotism by announcing that they have collected more than 3.6 million recycled cell phones and counting since July 2007 . Sparking more enthusiasm for the cause, the two are launching a new “double duty” advocacy campaign that empowers young people of all ages to make a difference this summer for military families and the environment by recycling wireless phones through social media and recycling drives.

CPFS uses the proceeds from recycling used wireless phones to buy free phone cards for military members away from home. Since July 2007, AT&T has been offering wireless users two ways to donate phones for the cause: 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

In its second year of work with AT&T (July 2008-July 2009), CPFS has recycled more than 2.1 million phones, an increase of more than 43 percent versus the same time last year. And, the charity used its 2008-2009 recycling proceeds to send more than 350,000 prepaid phone cards to the troops to help them stay in touch with friends and family for free. AT&T and CPFS are celebrating the two-year anniversary in a few ways:

AT&T will continue to collect phones for recycling in all 2,000-plus retail locations through 2010. Partial proceeds from these collections will continue to support CPFS -” and its mission to connect military families with free phone cards.
Through August 2009, AT&T and CPFS are working with the American Camp Association (ACA) to reach over 2 million children, tweens, and teens across the country with the patriotic and environmental cause. ACA outdoor camps are competing to collect the most phones and create the most environmentally friendly and most creative recycling bins.
AT&T volunteers are handing out roughly 20,000 free CPFS recycling mailer bags to visitors attending the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., this week, giving golf fans an easy way to recycle old wireless devices after they depart from the event.
Recycling efforts with CPFS will also extend through AT&T-sponsored music festivals this summer and the Campus MovieFest this fall, which is estimated to reach more than a million college students across the country.
The two-year anniversary follows another recycling milestone: A successful Earth Day challenge. With AT&T, CPFS invited wireless customers to join the effort to recycle at least 1.8 million devices between Earth Day 2008 and Earth Day 2009. In that time, the charity collected more than 2.5 million wireless devices for recycling.
Recycling work with ACA-affiliated camps across the U.S. begins this month and runs through the end of the summer. Competing children and youths will create their own recycling bins and post photos of them to a dedicated online site. AT&T will also house key photos via its Flickr channel and Facebook page. The most environmentally friendly and the most creative bins will be recognized. CPFS teen founders will visit a camp at the close of the contest to recognize every camp’s recycling work, including the camp that recycles the most phones.

“It’s important for children and young people to know that they can make a difference,” said CPFS co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “Robbie and I are really glad we stuck with our idea for Cell Phones for Soldiers, especially when we hear from soldiers we’re working to support. We celebrate the ACA campers and the many AT&T leaders, employees and volunteers who are working with us to make a difference for the troops and the environment. It doesn’t have to be Independence Day or Earth Day or any other holiday to remember that recycling with us is helping people all over the world stay in touch with people they love.”

Since 2008, the AT&T Pioneers, a network of more than 300,000 AT&T volunteers has been working to expand the charity’s cell phone donation drives into communities across the U.S. Since last spring, volunteer efforts have generated more than 25,000 wireless phones for recycling, and volunteers continue to collect phones in corporate offices and community locations.

Free online tools are also available to support community groups and help individuals launch and conduct their own donation drives with a new electronic “starter kit,” available at

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