Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005

Letter to the Editor

April 21, 2005

To the editor:

Join Special Olympics this Earth Day, April 22 in an effort to keep the environment clean and support Special Olympics athletes at the same time. This year, Special Olympics is teaming up with RMS Communications Group for a nationwide program to help cell phone users recycle their outdated phones and contribute to much-needed funds for Special Olympics.

Every year, Americans discard 130 million cell phones not knowing what to do with their out-of-date phones and contribute to the increasing volumes of toxic waste in U.S. landfills. Unfortunately, only 1 percent of used cell phones are recycled and reused.

Cell phones contain hazardous substances including arsenic, copper, zinc and lead that soak into soil and drinking water in landfills and linger in the air for long periods of time. Lead is a suspected carcinogen that could have effects on a person s nervous and immune system. The plastic used in the wiring boards of cell phones and rechargeable batteries also pollute and could have harmful effects on the lungs, liver and kidneys.

Through Special Olympics, cell phone users can now donate their unwanted phones to be recycled, refurbished and resold, temporarily diverting toxic wastes from landfills. Depending on the phone, for every three phones donated, it is estimated that one Special Olympics athlete will be able to train and compete in his or her sport for one season for free.

By donating your used cell phone, the more than 7 million people in the United States with intellectual disabilities and millions more worldwide, you will help to benefit Special Olympics around the world and right here in Kansas keep the environment clean long after Earth Day.

Contact Special Olympics Kansas at 1-800-444-9803 for the nearest drop-off location. Or to find the location of a collection bin nearest you, individually recycle your used cell phone, or to get your business involved, please visit www.specialolympics.org/recycle and register.

Alexandra Kuebler

Special Olympics Kansas

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