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Maine Moves To Require Cell Phone Recycling

With successful recycling programs of used computer gear well underway in Maine, the northernmost East Coast state is now moving to require cell phone recycling, according to legislation submitted by Rep. Chris Babbidge, D-Kennebunk. The issue is scheduled to be taken up in hearings this week.

A member of Maine's legislative Natural Resources Committee, Babbidge has said it will be beneficial to keep the toxic chemicals found in cell phones out of the environment. The state has been a bellwether in protecting the environment. In April 2004, Maine established a program to safely dispose of computer equipment.

Elsewhere, cell phone recycling programs are underway, including programs offered by firms such as ReCellular, which has said it expects to recycle more than 4 million cell phones this year. The company sells recycled phones and breaks up returned mobile phones that are no longer in demand. ReCellular expects revenue of $60 million from its recycling of cell phones this year.

Another program offered by many cell phone service providers enables users to return their phones when they're finished with them. The program is called "Wireless -- the New Recyclable."