As technology advances by leaps and bounds, cell phones quickly become outdated and users upgrade to newer models.
The Keep Columbia County Beautiful program offers residents a way to get rid of their spare or outdated mobile phones.
Donating phones generates money for projects and helps preserve the environment by keeping them out of landfills, county officials say.
Stacie Adkins, the county's community events manager, said the program has participated in the recycling effort through PaceButler Corp. for nearly two years.
"The phones are recycled for Third World countries or abused women/children shelters," Adkins said of the phones that are purchased by PaceButler.
Adkins said money from the donated cell phones helps pay for Keep Columbia County Beautiful projects and supplies, including Adopt-A-Road, Adopt-A-Stream, spring and fall countywide clean-ups and the Great American Clean-Up.
"We have recycled 134 phones with proceeds of $284.95," Adkins said.
Newer phones, which are worth more, are often refurbished and resold or donated to the shelters or other organizations, Adkins said. PaceButler usually scraps older phones for parts and then recycles them according to Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Several collection boxes for mobile phones are located in and near the county: the Columbia County Community and Leisure Services Division office in the Evans Government Complex, Building B on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans; Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Evans to Locks Road in Martinez; Belair Elementary School at 325 N. Belair Road in Evans; Cingular Wireless at 3830 Washington Road in Martinez; and Staples at 246 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway. For more information, call (706) 868-3484.
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