Despite being the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, Sprint [NYSE:S] leads the industry in phone recycling. Last year, Sprint reclaimed 4.4 million phones through voluntary collection programs compared to AT&T’s 3.1 million and Verizon’s 3 million.
Sprint continues to highlight the environmental benefits of phone recycling and to raise awareness around the financial benefits of its phone trade-in program, where customers can receive up to a $300 credit as part of the Sprint Buyback Program. On America Recycles Day (Friday, Nov. 15), Sprint will offer new and existing customers a minimum account credit of $20 for any phone traded in, in any condition, regardless of carrier in select Sprint stores in San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles and New York. Last weekend, the wireless carrier also placed extra emphasis on its phone reuse and recycling efforts at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 135 million mobile devices are discarded every year. Many find their final resting place in a junk drawer or, worse, landfills. It’s estimated just over 10 percent of mobile devices ready for end-of-life management in the United States are recycled. In 2001, Sprint recognized the trend and initiated the Sprint Buyback program to help solve the growing threat of electronic waste (e-waste). Since then, Sprint has reclaimed more than 50 million mobile devices, putting more than $100 million back in customers’ pockets last year alone. That equals approximately 13.8 million pounds of e-waste, the fastest growing waste stream in the United States.
“The Sprint Buyback Program is an important program for customers, that also just happens to benefit our business,” said Kendra Wright, who leads Sprint’s phone recycling operations. “We look beyond just the recycling, or dismantling of a phone, but instead focus on remanufacturing and giving that phone a second life. By collecting and reusing millions of devices a year, we spend less buying new devices.”