Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MDOT partners with charity to collect old cell phones

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has an answer for those wondering what to do with old cell phones:

Donate them.

MDOT on Tuesday announced a partnership with Cell Phones for Soldiers, a national charity drive that collects old cell phones for recycling.

The money earned on each phone - usually $5 - is then put toward a 60-minute calling card for a soldier serving overseas. A typical international call home can cost $15 a minute.

The program also can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep material out of landfills. Cell phone batteries and the internal memory boards - which can contain copper and gold - are valuable and can be reused.

So far, MDOT has collected 200 phones.

"But our goal is to put a calling card in the hands of each soldier, so we realize we have a long way to go," MDOT special projects coordinator Wes Carter said.

To donate your old cell phone or cell battery, MDOT has installed donation boxes in front of their offices:

MDOT Administration Building, 401 N. West St., Jackson.

MDOT District One Headquarters, 909 N. Gloster St., Tupelo.

MDOT District Two Headquarters, 150 U.S. 51 North, Batesville.

MDOT District Three Headquarters, 1240 U.S. 49, West Yazoo City.

MDOT District Five Headquarters, 7759 U.S. 80 West, Newton.

MDOT District Six Headquarters, 6356 U.S. 49 North, Hattiesburg.

MDOT District Seven Headquarters, US. 51 North, McComb.

Carter said MDOT will take any cell phone, even the original gray "brick" cell phones and "black bag phone."

Those who donate need to remember to terminate their phone's service contract, wipe out the phone's memory and remove the phone's SIM card, if it has one.

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