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John Hollenhorst ReportingToday is Earth Day, which means lots of people across the country are refreshing their personal commitment to recycling. And here's a recycling idea you may never have thought of -- finding a new use for one of your old cell phones.
The cell phone is such a new invention, nobody ever heard of it when Earth Day was invented three decades ago, but now Americans go through them like used Kleenex. 100 million cell-phones a year become obsolete.
Today a crew of Boy Scouts is on a special mission: rounding up all the used cell-phones they can find. At Jerry Kofford's house they hit the mother load. An armful of phones, batteries, accessories, the debris of our ultra-modern phone culture.
Jerry Kofford, Cell Phone Owner: “I’ve just accumulated them over the yearsand didn’t know what to do with them. So I stuck them in a basket downstairs in the trash.”
Throwing cell phones, as you can imagine, is politically incorrect, especially on Earth Day when we should worry about what goes to the landfill.
David Bresnahan, Boy Scout Crew 2179: "There's lots of chemicals in the battery and in some of the chips, the high tech stuff in that phone that just shouldn't be there."
The problem is they keep inventing better phones, and we ditch nearly 10 million old ones every month.
David Bresnahan: "It is amazing. That's over 100 million phones a year. And they say that only one percent of those phones are getting recycled."
The scouts turn the phones over to a recycling firm that resells them in Third World countries.
Terral Tyler, Boy Scout Crew 2179: "They get refurbished and they get new batteries and things. And so they can, other people that can't afford high-dollar cell phones can use these and have a cell phone."
If you want the scouts to come to your door call them, on your cell phone or otherwise, at 562-5362.
The scouts get a couple of bucks a phone. They hope that will pay for a river trip in Alaska.