E-waste: Expanding recycling and reuse

Our goal is to divert as many cell phones, set-top boxes, network devices and other electronics as possible from landfills by reusing or recycling them. Our priority is to reuse electronics internally, but when that’s not possible, we market these materials for reuse through approved vendors or recycle them.

Verizon’s processes for repurposing, reusing and recycling the wireless devices and accessories that we accept from customers are designed to achieve 100% landfill avoidance.

Our recycling practices exceed regulatory mandates. We audit facilities that manage Verizon’s hazardous or regulated waste on a regular schedule. Our e-waste vendors are certified recyclers that meet electronics waste recycling standards, such as R2 or e-Stewards.

In 2019, we recycled more than 84.8 million pounds of telecommunications equipment, metal, batteries, paper, cardboard and other items. This included more than 43.3 million pounds of e-waste and over 2.3 million pounds of plastic. Verizon also recycled nearly 5.2 million pounds of lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries from our U.S. operations must be recycled at Verizon-approved smelters in the U.S. or Canada. To ensure proper recycling, we require that our vendors provide certificates of recycling for batteries.