News Release

Bronx Assemblyman Dinowitz And Bell Atlantic Mobile "Recycle" Old Cell Phones To Improve Children's Safety

Phones Will Benefit Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Riverdale Neighborhood House and School Crossing Guards

August 4, 1999

Bill Weitz
718-796-5345

Lynette F. Viviani
973-283-9228

BRONX, NY — Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz today launched a program aimed at making the community safer for children and their families using wireless phones. Through Bell Atlantic Mobile's 'Wireless at Work Phone Recycling Program,' Dinowitz will collect old and unused cellular phones to be reprogrammed and returned to the community for use in summoning police help in emergencies. The program is the first wireless phone recycling drive in the Bronx and only the second in NYC. It will run through the end of August.

At the conclusion of the drive, Bell Atlantic Mobile will test and reprogram the donated phones to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button. The phones will be returned to Assemblyman Dinowitz, who will distribute them to school crossing guards and other agencies that serve Bronx families.

"Everyday, our school crossing guards are on the front lines protecting our children as they navigate busy city streets on their way to school," said Assemblyman Dinowitz. "These wireless phones will allow them to call for help without having to leave their posts and the children who depend on them."

Dinowitz also is working with the Kingsbridge Heights and Riverdale community centers to identify other individuals, such as victims of domestic violence or shut-ins, who would benefit from using a wireless phone to contact police in an emergency.

Residents and businesspeople may donate their older model wireless phones at three collection centers in the 41st Assembly District:

  • Assemblyman Dinowitz's office, 3107 Kingsbridge Avenue
  • The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, 3101 Kingsbridge Terrace
  • The Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue

Donated phones must be placed in ziplock bags and include batteries and chargers.

"The evolution of wireless phones from analog to digital and the appeal of newer, smaller handsets, have produced a large supply of old, unused equipment sitting in desks, cabinets and even toy boxes throughout the area," said Charles Hand, president of the company's New York/New Jersey metro region. "Our objective is to join forces with Assemblyman Dinowitz and others who can help us reclaim these phones and put them into the hands of people who need emergency communications."

As an added incentive to consumers who are contemplating a wireless phone upgrade, Hand said Bell Atlantic Mobile is providing collection centers with coupons good for valuable equipment discounts at Bell Atlantic Mobile Communications Stores throughout the area. "These discount coupons are our way of thanking citizens for donating their older model phones to a worthy cause," he said.

Since January, Bell Atlantic Mobile has helped collect and refurbish more than 6,000 phones, which represent an $86,000 commitment in time and materials from the company.

In the NY/NJ Metro Region, Bell Atlantic Mobile was named leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study.

Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.4 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.

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