Clean Out the Old Phones In The Drawer: Canadians Challenged to Mark Earth Day 2018 by Recycling Old Cellphones

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Clean Out the Old Phones In The Drawer: Canadians Challenged to Mark Earth Day 2018 by Recycling Old Cellphones

OTTAWA – April 20, 2018 – With people purchasing new cellphones every year, old devices end up being stored away instead of reused or recycled. Canadians of all ages are being encouraged to celebrate Earth Day 2018 by digging their old devices out of storage and taking them to be recycled.

Recycle My Cell, Canada’s free cellphone recycling program, is challenging consumers to drop off their previously used cellphones and accessories on Sunday, April 22 at any of their nearly 2,800 drop-off locations in communities from coast to coast.

Statistics show that more than 60 percent of Canadians have multiple cellphones in their possession that they aren’t currently using.

“Cellphone recycling isn’t hard,” said Robert Ghiz, President and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). “When you get a new cellphone, follow a few easy steps and you can recycle your old phone instead of keeping it in a drawer at home or the office. First, you want to take the time to transfer your photos, your contacts and your calendars over from your old phone. Once you’ve done that, deleting your personal information is straightforward. The only thing left to do is to recycle it. It is a small step, but together we can have a positive and lasting impact on the planet.”

Consumers can visit Recycle My Cell’s bilingual website or – to get answers on how to erase their personal information from their old cellphones, as well as information about how to then recycle those devices. “It’s really as simple as finding the drop-off location closest to you, and heading over to turn in the old device,” added Ghiz.

Other findings from the 2017 Understanding Cellphone Recycling Behaviours survey include:

  • An overwhelming majority of Canadians (87%) support cellphone recycling programs. Over 80 per cent of Canadians are aware cellphones can be recycled and 84 per cent of Canadians would consider recycling their cellphones if they knew where to recycle them.
  • Sixty-two per cent of Canadians say they have cellphones in their possession that they are not using and are being stored, compared to 37 per cent who say they don’t. This is consistent with the 2016 wave which received the same percentages. Canadians report storing an average of 2.4 phones.
  • Nearly nine in ten (89%) Canadians personally have one cellphone that they actively use. Nine per cent of Canadians actively use two cellphones, while one per cent use three cellphones and two per cent use four cellphones or more.
  • Consistent with 2016, 46 per cent of Canadians have personally owned four cellphones or more prior to their actual phone (46% in 2016; 43% in 2015). Two in five have respectively owned two (19%) or three (18%) phones prior to their current one, while 16 per cent have owned one.

“The desire to protect the planet for future generations is deeply embedded in Canadians, and we’re proud to be working with Recycle My Cell to help people accomplish that goal,” added Ghiz.

Canadian Cellphone Recycling Facts

  • 483,338 wireless devices were recovered in 2017.
  • 7,506,802 wireless devices have been recovered since 2005.
  • 2,780 drop-off locations across Canada.

Host a Recycle My Cell Drop-off Location Year-Round

Municipalities, recycling depots, businesses and community organizations across the country can support the Recycle My Cell program by hosting a drop-off location year-round. Registration is quick and easy, and pre-paid shipping and promotional materials are provided at no cost. For more information, please visit

or contact [email protected]

The 2017 Understanding Cellphone Recycling Behaviours survey, commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, was completed by Nanos Research from December 4 to 17, 2017.

About Recycle My Cell

Recycle My Cell is Canada’s national recycling program for mobile phones and accessories. The bilingual website – and – allows consumers to simply enter their location to find the drop-off locations closest to them where their devices will be accepted, regardless of brand or condition. The free program is run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), in conjunction with cellphone carriers, handset manufacturers and approved processors, who have come together to raise awareness about the importance of cellphone recycling.

About CWTA

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents companies that provide services and products across the wireless sector. Representing the industry before all levels of government and various regulatory agencies, CWTA actively promotes the industry with the goal of ensuring continued growth of the wireless sector in Canada. CWTA administers a number of initiatives on behalf of its members, including corporate social responsibility programs and the national common short codes program.

Media Contact:

Greg Burch


[email protected]