AT&T helping out with the environment

Wondering what to do with those rechargeable batteries that live inside laptops, cell phones, power tools, cordless phones and more once they outlive their “chargeableness”? There is no need to dump them in the landfill. Simply take them to the local AT&T authorized retailer in the Millville Town Center in Millville.

Coastal Point •  Monica Scott: Dominic Longley, Wireless Specialist, and Jay Soto, Manager, from the AT&T authorized retailer in Millville stand with the Call2Recyle collection box.Coastal Point • Monica Scott
Dominic Longley, Wireless Specialist, and Jay Soto, Manager, from the AT&T authorized retailer in Millville stand with the Call2Recyle collection box.

The store participates in Call2Recycle, which boasts of itself as the only free battery and cell phone collection program in North America. According to the program, they have diverted more than 60 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from local landfills and established a drop-off network of 30,000 recycling drop-off locations.

“Recycling has become more than a good action,” said Jay Soto, manager of the AT&T store in Millville. “It’s become a duty. As we move into this digital and battery-run society, we have to be more responsible with our waste. Call2Recycle is just one mechanism to make the proper disposal of our waste an easier thing to do.”

Soto said that, being a mobile phone store, they get more phones brought in for the program than anything else, but he explained that they also accept batteries from power tools, digital cameras, MP3 players, two-way or walkie-talkie radios, and laptops.

Most rechargeable batteries can be recharged for up to 1,000 cycles, he explained. That’s generally between two and five years, depending upon the use, but eventually they will no longer hold a full charge and must be replaced. That is when they can and should be recycled.

After the batteries are collected, they are sent to Call2Recycle’s recycling partner outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. They are then sorted by chemistry and melted down to make new products, such as new batteries or stainless steel items. The cell phones are refurbished and resold when possible. A portion of the proceeds received from the resale of phones benefits certain charities. Those that cannot be refurbished are recycled. Call2Recycle accepts all cell phones, with or without batteries, regardless of make, model or age.

Call2Recycle also encourages the recycling of single-use batteries, but it does not currently have a program in place in the U.S. to do so. They said consumers looking to recycle single-use batteries should contact their local solid-waste department.

Other Recycling Centers

Locally, drop-off centers and curbside recycling can accept the following items single-stream (they do not need to be separated): newspapers/brown paper bags, magazines/catalogues, telephone/softcover books, junk mail/envelopes (all types), paper paperboard (cereal/tissue boxes), cardboard, plastic grocery bags, glass bottles/jars (any color), metal cans, (tin/steel/aluminum); #1 PET plastic food and beverage containers; #2 HDPE plastic food and beverage containers.

The single-stream recycling program does not accept motor oil or anti-freeze containers.

Also accepted in the program are HDPE Mixed Rigid Plastics, such as kitty litter containers, small plastic buckets (up to 5 gallon), milk crates, small toys and plastic trays; #4 LDPE, such as butter tubs, sour cream containers and margarine tubs; #5 polypropylene yogurt containers and cottage cheese containers; and #7 mixed plastics, including various containers, cartons and aseptic containers, such as juice boxes, orange juice and milk cartons.

Single-use batteries are collected separately at each of Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s drop-off centers. With the exception of batteries, used motor oil, oil filters and textiles, materials are mingled together and separated later at a separate facility.

Other electronics – including computer components and/or parts, microwaves, telecommunications equipment, radio, television, electro acoustic radios, small household appliances and electronic toys can be recycled at the Bridgeville Station, Omar Station (Burton Farm Road in Frankford), Southern Solid Waste Management Center in Georgetown, the Route 5 Transfer Station in Harbeson and the Long Neck Station on Mount Joy Road.

For more information on the Call2Recycle program at the AT&T authorized retailer in Millville, call (302) 537-9000.