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

SIOUX FALLS, SD — In 2008, an estimated 130 million wireless phones will be retired from use, yet fewer than 20 percent of those phones will be recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Earth Day approaches, South Dakotans with no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories can donate them, 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 256 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 record 1,068,000 wireless phones were donated to HopeLine in 2007, resulting in donations of more than $1.7 million in cash grants and more than 20,000 HopeLine phones with free wireless service to domestic violence agencies. During 2007, South Dakotans contributed more than 2,100 no-longer-used wireless phones to the recycling program.

"We are proud to give consumers an easy means for recycling their no-longer-used wireless devices this Earth Day and throughout the year," 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 the October 2001 launch of Verizon Wireless' national recycling program, the company has collected more than 4.5 million phones. More than 1 million phones have been disposed of in an environmentally sound way with the remaining 3.5 million phones being refurbished for resale and reuse. Over the last six years, Verizon Wireless also has distributed nearly $5 million in cash grants and provided more than 60,000 phones with more than 160 million minutes of free wireless service to domestic violence programs throughout the country. In South Dakota, five organizations have received support from HopeLine in the past two years.

In addition to aiding organizations that support domestic violence prevention and awareness, recycling wireless phones also helps the environment. According to the EPA, recycling 100 million wireless phones would save enough energy to power more than 194,000 U.S. households with electricity for one year.

While Earth Day will be celebrated Tuesday, April 22, Verizon Wireless Communication Stores accept donations year-round. For more information on Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program or for instructions on donating wireless phones or accessories, visit

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 65.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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