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Recycle Enterprise Telecom Equipment—And Happy Earth Day

by Nicole Hayward

Three things you may or may not know: Nicole was once an ISO-14001 Compliance Specialist in Manufacturing.

Published: April 22, 2010

Three things you may or may not know: 1) The History of Earth Day 2) Where you can recycle PBX equipment and 3) Nicole was once an ISO-14001 Compliance Specialist in Manufacturing

If you didn't remember when you woke up this morning, perhaps Google reminded you: Today is Earth Day. Do you know the history of Earth Day?

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 when "Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest 'to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda," he recalls. 

At that time, you could say that air pollution was an indication of wealth and success. Successful people drove a big cars that guzzled fuel, and successful industries pumped out gases with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). In addition, "Getting people to focus on the environment in 1970 was difficult. America was deeply involved in the Vietnam War and the violence was starting affect people at home – the Kent State shootings would happen just a few weeks after Nelson’s first teach in."

But, because the Earth was a common ground across political parties and industries, it turned out to be just the right cause. "Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values," says Earth Day Network. Years later, in 1990, Earth Day spread to a global event. This was made possible by Dennis Hayes, environmental visionary of the Stanford University, the World Resources Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, The Energy Foundation, Greenpeace, and many more organizations.

Today, Earth Day is recognized by organizations and individuals all over the world. In the spirit of Earth Day, we would like to recommend that perspective customers who move from an enterprise PBX to OnSIP, or any other hosted service, recycle decommissioned PBX equipment and phones. At the request of @TimVan007 on Twitter (follow him!), we looked into a company that recycles telecom equipment: PhonedriveUSA LLC. Telecom & IT Recycling Specialists.

I gave PhonedriveUSA, located in California, a call and found that they generally recycle on the scale of enterprise level equipment (so not just a few phones, let's say). But, they will go so far as to pay for the shipping of the equipment. For big shipments, they may even pay you for the equipment. "PhonedriveUSA LLC has a zero-waste environmental policy. All received materials are separated and sorted. Paper, plastics, batteries and glass are removed and properly recycled. Steel, aluminum and copper are sent to ISO 14001 certified partners for metal recovery. Components are refurbished or refined for precious metal content including copper, silver, gold and palladium," says PhonedriveUSA.

Happy Earth Day!