FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - It's estimated there are 1 billion old cell phones in drawers and closets in the U.S. And now there's a way to put them to good use.
By recycling your old cell phone you can help support non-profit organizations.
The Ann Storck Center in Fort Lauderdale hopes you do.
The non-profit offers programs for developmentally disabled children and adults. Over the last year, it's made over $2,000 from recycled cell phones.
"We have a wonderful, robust art program. There's so many little things that money is used for to help the quality of life for our residents," said Executive Director Charlotte Mather-Taylor.
GRC Wireless in Miramar does the recycling.
The company gets boxes and boxes of old phones every day.
Non-profits and charities all across the country are sending them in by the thousands.
GRC pays between 50 cents and $150 a phone. Over the past 10 years it's given back $10 million.
"Most of the phones are either sold in Latin America or other parts of the world," said GRC's Michele Triana. "We do have a small amount of phones that are sold here domestically through our online sales."
Older models that can't be re-sold are boxed up in lots of 10,000 phones per pallet, then shipped out for smelting.
"They are phones that have no intrinsic value other than the value of the metals contained in their circuit boards," said Triana.
The Storck Center is using social media and business partners to dial up more phones for more money.
Recyclers say there are plenty available. 150 million phones are retired every year.
"It's estimated that there's over a billion cell phones out there, and of those billion only 10 percent have actually been recycled through programs like ours," said Triana.
It couldn't be easier says Triana. GRC pays the shipping costs.
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