News Release

NYC Department Of Sanitation And Office To Combat Domestic Violence Join Verizon Wireless To Recycle Cell Phones To Aid Survivors

Residents Urged to Recycle Old Cell Phones at Spring Electronics Recycling Events, First Collection at Union Square This Sunday

March 11, 2008

David Samberg
David.Samberg@VerizonWireless.com
845-365-7212Vito Turso
NYC Department of Sanitation
vturso@dsny.nyc.gov  
646-885-5020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today announced that the New York City Department of Sanitation's Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling is teaming up with Verizon Wireless to collect old cell phones at its annual Electronics Recycling and Clothing Donation events this spring. Doherty is urging all New York City residents to donate their old, unused wireless phones to help survivors of domestic violence.

Phones collected at the recycling events will be donated to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program, which will refurbish, recycle or sell the phones and donate the proceeds to domestic violence advocacy groups in the form of cash grants and prepaid wireless phones for victims. Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.

"Joining forces with Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program creates a win-win situation for the residents of New York City," said Commissioner Doherty. "We're always interested in programs that encourage reusing items that otherwise might end up in the waste stream. When you donate your old phone to HopeLine, you'll not only give a product a second life — you'll also give a family in need a second chance at life."

The City's first 2008 Spring Electronics Recycling and Clothing Donation Event will be held this Sunday, March 16, in lower Manhattan's Union Square from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. Donations will be accepted at the North Plaza on the southeast corner of 17th Street and Broadway. Cars are asked to enter at 16th Street and Union Square West.

Similar events will be held throughout the City, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, on the following days:

  • The Bronx: Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6, at the Soundview Composting Site; Randall Avenue near Metcalf Avenue, close to the Bruckner Expressway.
  • Staten Island: Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13, at the Fresh Kills Composting Site; 310 West Service Road, near exit 7 off Route 440.
  • Queens: Saturday, May 3, at St. John's University Alumni Hall parking lot; corner of Utopia Parkway and Union Turnpike; cars enter at Gate 4 on Union Turnpike and 175th Street.
  • Brooklyn: Sunday, May 18, at Prospect Park; Willink Drive, next to the Carousel near corner of Flatbush Avenue and Empire Blvd; cars enter at corner of Parkside and Ocean Avenue.

Verizon Wireless was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and has done so since January 1999 — first in New York and then across the U.S. To date, thanks to conscientious consumers, the company's national HopeLine program has:

  • Kept more than 200 tons of electronics waste and batteries out of landfills.
  • Collected nearly 4.5 million wireless phones.
  • Properly disposed of nearly 1 million wireless phones.
  • Recycled more than 170,000 pounds of batteries in cooperation with Call2Recycle

"HopeLine was created more than 10 years ago as a means for Verizon Wireless to put its products and services to work to help survivors of domestic violence and help the environment at the same time," said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "More than $5 million in cash grants has been awarded to local shelters and groups working to fight family violence across the nation, and nearly 60,000 wireless phones with airtime have helped survivors rebuild their lives."

Locally, HopeLine's direct and in-kind donations total nearly $900,000 including more than $150,000 to the New York City Family Justice Center Initiative.

"Many of us take our cell phones for granted," said Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence. "But for a woman who is being abused or stalked, it is often her first line of defense."

In addition to the City's neighborhood recycling events, HopeLine phone donations are accepted year-round at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in New York City and across the nation. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 65.7 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, with 69,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.  

About New York City's Department of Sanitation
Since 1881, when the New York City Department of Sanitation - originally known as the Department of Street Cleaning - was founded, waste collection and disposal have come virtually full circle. At the end of the 19th century, one of the Department's most prolific commissioners, Colonel George Waring, instituted efficiencies and waste reduction programs that foretold the programs of today -- including recycling, street sweeping and a dedicated uniformed cleaning and collection force. Today, the Department is the world's largest, collecting over 12,000 tons of residential and institutional refuse and recyclables a day. The City's businesses, whose waste is collected by private carting companies, generate another 13,000 tons of refuse each day. And under the leadership of Commissioner John J. Doherty, New York City's streets are cleaner today then they have been in over 30 years.

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