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Type Private
Industry Recycling
Founded 1991
Founder(s) Charles Newman
Headquarters Ann Arbor, Michigan
Key people Charles Newman, Chairman
Products Cell phones

ReCellular is the world's largest recycler and reseller of cell phones.

Used cell phones are a growing electronic waste challenge. On average, American cell phone subscribers replace their cell phones every 18 months. In the U.S., between 100 million and 130 million cell phones are thrown away each year, representing an estimated 65,000 tons of electronics waste.[1] ReCellular collects cell phones for resale and recycling, collecting more than 125,000 phones each week.[2]

Founded in 1991, ReCellular is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Collection sources[edit]

ReCellular has built a network of nearly 1,100 collection partners, representing nearly 40,000 collection sites across the nation, including:

  • Wireless carriers such as AT&T Mobility and Sprint, and retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart, partner with ReCellular to facilitate recycling programs for their customers.
  • Individual businesses partner with ReCellular to dispose of their corporate communications equipment.
  • Grassroots and charitable organizations such as Cell Phones for Soldiers partner with ReCellular to operate donate-a-phone fundraising programs.

Many organizations use the proceeds from their wireless recycling programs to benefit charitable causes. ReCellular partners raised $4.0 million for non-profit programs in 2008, and more than $20 million for charities since 1996.[citation needed]

Reuse and recycling[edit]

Approximately half of the phones ReCellular collects are reprogrammed and sold for reuse.[citation needed]

Obsolete or non-functional phones are dismantled and recycled to reclaim valuable materials, such as: gold, silver and palladium from circuit boards; copper wiring from phone chargers; nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs; and plastic from cases and accessories.[3] ReCellular’s zero-waste policy dictates that all donated materials are recycled, including cardboard, paper and plastic shipping materials – diverting more than 1 million pounds of materials from landfills per year.[citation needed]

In November 2006, the magazine Inc. named ReCellular to the Green 50.[4]

Data Eraser tool[edit]

ReCellular also offers a Cell Phone Data Eraser tool that enables consumers to remove personal information from their old cell phones prior to recycling.[5]

Online Presence[edit]

Recellular also operates two direct-to-consumer websites. This includes SecureTrade-In, where consumers can sell phones, and Mobile Karma, where individuals can buy new and used cell phones.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Fighting e-waste one cell phone at a time". ITworld. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  3. ^ Greene, Kate (2008-08-19). "Where Cell Phones Go to Die | MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  4. ^ "The Recyclers - Green 50 - Sustainable businesses". 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  5. ^ Brandt, Andrew (2009-01-26). "How to Keep Your Cell Phone Info Private | TechHive". PCWorld. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 

External links[edit]