Recycle My Cell celebrates 10th anniversary, nears 7 million recovered devices

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OTTAWA – June 26, 2019 – Recycle My Cell, a free cell phone recycling program run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) that has diverted millions of devices from landfills, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week.

To mark the occasion, the CWTA released a new report today showing that increased awareness among consumers continues to bolster recycling across the nation. The CWTA says that 431,943 devices were recovered via the Recycle My Cell program in 2018, bringing the grand total of recycled or reused cell phones over the past decade to 6,985,325.

“The numbers clearly show consumers are interested in doing the right thing,” said Robert Ghiz, President and CEO of the CWTA. “We’re thrilled to have played such a significant part in encouraging more and more Canadians to recycle or reuse their old devices rather than throwing them in the trash or stuffing them in a drawer. Positive progress has been made over the past decade, and we’re optimistic that trend will continue moving forward.”

There are a few easy steps Canadians should follow when recycling an old device:

  • Take the time to transfer your photos, your contacts and your calendars over from your old phone. 
  • Once you’ve done that, visit Recycle My Cell’s bilingual website – or –to get answers on how to  erase personal information from your phone.
  • While you’re on the site, check to see where the nearest drop-off location is.
  • Head on over and recycle your old device!

“Responsibly dealing with old cell phones is a very simple process and we hope Canadians will continue doing their part to make a positive and lasting impact on the environment,” added Ghiz. “With more than 2,600 drop-off locations across the country, there are plenty of options for people no matter where they live to properly dispose of their unused devices.”

Other findings from the 2018 Understanding Cell Phone Recycling Behaviours survey include:

  • An overwhelming majority of Canadians (97%) support or somewhat support cell phone recycling programs in some form. Over 80% of Canadians are aware cell phones can be recycled and would consider recycling their cell phones if they knew where to recycle them.
  • 51% of Canadians chose a form of either recycling or reuse for a previous device in 2018.
  • 66% of Canadians say they have cell phones in their possession that they are not using and are being stored, compared to 33% who say they don’t.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 (90%) Canadians personally have one cell phone that they actively use, while 9% actively use two cell phones, 1% use three cell phones and 0.4% use four cell phones or more.

The 2018 Understanding Cell phone Recycling Behaviours survey, commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, was completed by Nanos Research from December 2 to 19, 2018. The survey was conducted online among 3,000 Canadians with a personal cell phone. Participants in PEI were interviewed by telephone. The margin of error for the survey is ±1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Canadian Cell Phone Recycling Facts

  • 431,943 wireless devices were recovered in 2018; of this, 304,027 were reused and 127,916 were recycled.
  • 6,985,325 wireless devices have been recovered since 2009.
  • 2,665 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].  

About Recycle My Cell

Recycle My Cell is Canada’s national recycling program for mobile phones and accessories. The bilingual website – or – 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 cell phone carriers, handset manufacturers and approved processors, who have come together to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone 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.