News Release

NYC Department Of Sanitation And Office To Combat Domestic Violence Join Verizon Wireless To Recycle Cellphones To Aid Survivors In New York

Residents Urged to Recycle Old Cellphones at Fall Electronics Recycling Events; First Collection at Keyspan Park This Sunday, Sept. 7

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September 3, 2008

David Samberg
845-365-7212Vito Turso
NYC Department of Sanitation

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

Similar collections, conducted in all five boroughs this past spring, generated more than 1,100 pounds of cellphones and accessories.

Phones collected at the recycling event 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 Fall Electronics Recycling and Clothing Donation Events will be held this Sunday, Sept. 7, in Keyspan Park in Brooklyn from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. Donations will be accepted at Surf Avenue and 19th Street.

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

  • Manhattan: Saturday Sept. 13, at Columbia University, 116th Street between Amsterdam and Morningside Drive. (Cars enter at 116th St and Amsterdam.)
  • Staten Island: Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Staten Island Mall; Parking Lot F.
  • Queens: Saturday, Sept. 20, at Forest Park, Bandshell Parking Lot (Enter park at Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Blvd.)
  • Bronx: Sunday, Sept. 28, at Lehman College, North Lot (Goulden Avenue, just south of Bedford Park West.)

Verizon Wireless was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cellphones 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 over 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, Verizon Wireless has donated $1 million in products, services and cash grants since 2001, including more than $150,000 to the New York City Family Justice Center Initiative.

"Many of us take our cellphones 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

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 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 70,000 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 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

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.