Bergen County Women's Group Boasts Biggest Phone Recycling Drive In The Nation

ORANGEBURG, NY — With the zeal of women helping women, Zonta International of Ridgewood/Hackensack has just completed the biggest and most successful wireless phone recycling drive since Bell Atlantic Mobile began the program last January. Led by Zonta member Joan Janson, the group collected more than 1900 wireless phones that will be reprogrammed by Bell Atlantic Mobile to dial 9-1-1 for use by victims of domestic violence throughout Bergen County and New Jersey.

In what may have looked like a phone heist, Janson and five helpers last evening moved the 1900 phones from her Rutherford garage onto two trucks that transported the phones to Bell Atlantic Mobile this morning for reprogramming as part of the company's "Wireless at Work" Phone Recycling Program. Lanni's Appliance, of Rutherford, loaned one vehicle for the move and the other was supplied by a Zonta family member.

Reprogramming the phones will represent an investment of nearly $30,000 from Bell Atlantic Mobile in technicians' time and administrative costs. The company will test all the phones, however, only those in good working condition, complete with battery and charger, will be returned for distribution.

The phones will be distributed first in Bergen County to the Prosecutor's office, local police departments, Alternatives for Domestic Violence and Shelter Our Sisters. Zonta will offer remaining phones to the NJ Coalition for Battered Women for use throughout the state.

Interview Opportunities:Bell Atlantic Mobile, Joan Janson (Zonta)Debbie Donnelly (Alternatives to Domestic Violence)Video/Photo Opportunities: Bell Atlantic Mobile Recycling Center in NYC.