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Torch Clubs Nationwide to Recycle Cell Phones and other Mobile Electronics, Helping Support the Sierra Club
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In celebration of America Recycles Day on November 15, Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today that it is collaborating with Boys & Girls Clubs of America's (BGCA) Torch Clubs to recycle used cell phones and other mobile electronics. Staples Foundation for Learning is a national sponsor of BGCA's Torch Clubs, a character and leadership development program for pre-teens.
Staples will work with Torch Club members, ages 11-13 nationwide, to collect used cell phones, PDAs, pagers and chargers for reuse or recycling. Torch Club participants will turn in collected devices through January 2004 to their local Staples stores or ship them directly to CollectiveGood, a mobile electronics recycling company working with Staples to reduce electronic waste. Staples will donate a portion of the proceeds from recycled mobile electronics to the Sierra Club, America's largest grassroots environmental organization, helping support environmental education and conservation programs.
"Recycling mobile electronic devices, particularly cell phones, is becoming more important," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs at Staples. "Developments such as the upcoming federal rule allowing people to keep their current cell phone number when switching service companies is expected to prompt up to 30 million cell phones to fall into disuse. This service project will help keep old phones and other mobile devices out of the waste stream and instill environmentally-sensitive values among Torch Club members."
The Staples recycling initiative is part of the Torch Club national service project, which draws the attention of millions of young people across the country to a specific issue affecting their community. This year's focus is on environmental stewardship. In an effort to build character and leadership experience through promoting concern and respect for the environment, Staples will help teach Torch Club members the basics of recycling and its impact on the environment.
"With the support of Staples, we are able to help our Torch Club members become environmental role models and true ambassadors of service at home, in their communities and within the world at large," said Roxanne Spillett, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
In the U.S. alone, there are about 100 million cell phones falling into disuse each year, according to recent estimates from Inform Inc., an environmental research group. In addition, there are many millions of other used mobile devices such as PDAs and pagers that should be recycled rather than disposed of in landfills. Recycling mobile electronics prevents hazardous elements such as mercury, cadmium and lead from contaminating the earth through landfill disposal and incineration. Staples enables customers to recycle these devices in addition to rechargeable batteries and ink jet and laser cartridges at stores every day.
CollectiveGood will refurbish mobile electronic devices collected for reuse, providing affordable telecommunications to people in developing countries, or recycle them according to federal and local environmental standards. Anyone interested in recycling their used cell phone, PDA or pager with a Torch Club through January can call 1-800-854-CLUB to be directed to their local Boys & Girls Club.
Staples is a national sponsor of America Recycles Day, a national non-profit organization that renews public support of recycling and buying recycled products annually through partnerships with businesses, local, state and federal government and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 3,300 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 3.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation.
About Staples, Inc.
Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes - from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.