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Cell Phone Take-Back

Wireless telephone service providers must take back outdated, damaged, and otherwise unwanted cell phones from anyone, not just their own customers.

What's covered: Any type of mobile telephone that uses wireless phone service.

Businesses affected: All wireless telephone service providers, including retailers that sell cell phones with service plans.

How To Comply

Businesses have a couple of choices when it comes to accepting cell phones. You can partner with a charity, manufacturer, or recycler to help you collect phones, or you can do it on your own. (877-2-RECYCLE or 877-273-2925) is a nonprofit organization that provides cell phone and battery recycling solutions at no cost.

Whether you partner with another organization or not, you'll need to follow these steps:

Accept, at no charge, up to ten used mobile phones from anyone during your regular business hours. Or pay for shipping so that they can send phones to a recycling program directly.

Put up a sign in a prominent place, informing people that you accept used wireless phones or provide postage-paid envelopes for phone recycling. Download free signs. If you have a website, post information about the cell phone take-back program.

Make sure the phones you accept or ship are recycled, reused, or disposed of in a way that's safe for the environment.