South Dakotans Encouraged To Donate Old Wireless Handsets And Batteries This Earth Day, April 22

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Verizon Wireless is encouraging South Dakotans to celebrate Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, by donating no-longer-used wireless handsets and batteries, in any condition, at any participating Verizon Wireless Communications Store in the state.

Through the company's award-winning HopeLine® program, Verizon Wireless collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider.

There are currently more than 230 million wireless phone subscribers in the United States alone, according to the wireless industry's trade association, and studies show that wireless phone users upgrade and replace their phones on average once every 18 months. Nationwide, a total of 910,000 wireless phones were donated to HopeLine in 2006, resulting in donations of nearly $1.3 million in cash grants and more than 16,000 HopeLine phones with airtime and other features to domestic violence organizations and shelters. During 2006, South Dakotans contributed 2,354 no-longer-used wireless phones to the recycling program, an increase of 33 percent from 2005.

"We are proud to give consumers an easy means for recycling their no-longer-used wireless devices this Earth Day," said Rob Whittecar, district manager—retail sales for South Dakota. "If South Dakotans make donations to Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program, we can help to reduce waste while also helping domestic violence survivors."

Since October 2001, when Verizon Wireless launched its national recycling program, HopeLine has collected more than 3.5 million phones. The program has disposed of more than 800,000 phones in an environmentally sound way and refurbished the remaining phones for resale and reuse. Over the last six years, Verizon Wireless also has distributed more than $3.3 million in cash grants and provided more than 40,000 phones with free airtime to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs throughout the country.

In addition to wireless phones, Verizon Wireless also collects spent rechargeable batteries for recycling. The Verizon Wireless Cell Phone Battery Recycling program is an easy way for customers to join with Verizon Wireless to help conserve the earth's natural resources and prevent spent batteries from entering landfills. In 2006 alone, nearly 58,790 pounds of batteries were recycled through this program.

While Earth Day will be celebrated April 22, Verizon Wireless stores accept donations year-round.

For more information on Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program or for instructions on donating wireless phones or rechargeable batteries, visit  

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 59 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 65,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at