April 17, 2006

Recycling program targets cell phones for re-use in developing countries

WINNIPEG, MAN-The Canadian Diabetes Association, in collaboration with PhoneBack, Canada, has created Project Redial(TM) to promote the recovery, recycling and reuse of mobile, wireless and cell phone handsets. To mark the official start of the program, the association is holding a spring drive during April (Earth Month) to collect 20,000 cell phones from across Canada. The goal for the Winnipeg area is to collect approximately 2,000 of this total. Individuals can donate their used cell phones by simply dropping them off at any Canadian Diabetes Association office, at participating Value Village stores or through the association's Clothesline(R) program. Residents can include used cell phone(s) when donating other items such as clothing and household goods through the Clothesline(R) program by calling 1-800-505-5525 and arranging for a free pick-up. Collected cell phones are refurbished or remanufactured and sent to developing and emerging countries. A retired cell phone, refurbished and/or remanufactured for re-use, can provide a valuable, low-cost communication tool in such areas, where land line networks are often not in place and are too expensive or too difficult to install. All proceeds from the collected phones are used by the Canadian Diabetes Association to fund diabetes research, education, service and advocacy. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association says cell phones are used for an average of only 18 months before being replaced, even if they are still in good working order. This is all the more remarkable given that there are more than 14.5 million cell phone users in Canada. PhoneBack, Canada provides used mobile phone collection, recovery and recycling programs, integrated with fundraising opportunities for charities, community groups and other local initiatives. More information is available from PhoneBack, Canada at 905/830-9607, Web site www.charitablerecycling.ca, or from Valerie Parker at the Canadian Diabetes Association, 204/949-9163, E-mail val.parker@diabetes.ca, Web site www.diabetes.ca/projectredial.

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