GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — We all make our best effort to recycle cans, bottles, cardboard and newspapers. But what about wireless phones?
At a news conference today, Bell Atlantic Mobile and the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders launched a pilot program aimed at putting old and unused wireless phones to work for the good of the community.
Bell Atlantic Mobile's "Wireless at Work" Phone Recycling Pilot Program will allow wireless phone customers throughout Camden County to recycle their older model wireless phones by donating them to the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The collected phones will then be provided to members of the community to help improve security and emergency communications.
"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 John Stratton, president of Bell Atlantic Mobile's Tri- State Region. "Our objective is to reclaim those phones and put them into the hands of people who need emergency communications."
"Wireless phones can serve as a lifeline for people who may be in danger or need immediate emergency assistance, from crossing guards to members of night watch groups," said Camden County Freeholder Riletta Cream.
Freeholders Cream and Pat Egan Jones, along with County Clerk James Beach, joined Sheriff Michael McLaughlin and Bell Atlantic Mobile representatives at the news conference. The conference was held during a class on first aid as part of Sheriff McLaughlin's TRIAD Senior Citizen Police Academy at the Gloucester Township Senior Citizens Center. John Stratton of Bell Atlantic Mobile officially started the wireless phone recycling pilot program by donating 10 phones to participants of the TRIAD program.
Bell Atlantic Mobile will work with Camden County government to first test the batteries, reprogram the phones to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button, and then put the phones into the hands of those who need them. Senior citizens and people with disabilities will be the first recipients.
Freeholder Jones said that during the months of May and June, phones will be collected at various drop-off points throughout the county. As an added incentive, people who donate phones will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Donated phones must be portable models that are no longer in service and include batteries and chargers. Drop-off locations are:
- Camden County Stores at the Echelon Mall in Voorhees and at 500B Williamstown-New Freedom Road in Winslow Township
- Camden County Department of Public Safety, 2311 Egg harbor Road, Lindenwold
- Satellite offices operated by County Clerk James Beach in the Haddonfield Mall (Unit 12), 114 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield
- AAA office at 700 Oak Road, Voorhees
For further information on drop-off locations, call (609) 225-5431.
Since its inception in 1995, the company's "Wireless At Work" community service program has donated over hundreds of wireless phones to aid communities throughout the Philadelphia Tri-State Region.
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.