Start the Year Off Fresh: Clean Out Your Drawers!

Dec 19, 2013 10:30 AM ET
Campaign: AT&T: Planet

Start the year off fresh: clean out your drawers!

By Gary Duffy, Director of product marketing

If you’re anything like me, you don’t even start to think about your New Year’s resolution until the ball in Times Square starts to drop. Then, all of a sudden a resolution to take into the New Year seems to be really important. 

So this year I am getting ahead of the curve and making my New Year’s resolutions early.  Today, on December 19, my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 are:  

Spend more time salmon fishing and with my family, read more books and… recycle all of my family’s old cell phones.

Yes, I am guilty of a junk drawer in the kitchen spilling over with cell phones going back to the past millennium.  This leads me to wonder how many old cell phones and devices are sitting in other people’s junk drawer, waiting to be recycled through take-back programs like AT&T’s Trade-In Program.

Did you know that newer phones can be redeemed for store credit in some cases? Recycling your phone can be like finding money in the couch cushions! AT&T offers a store credit equal to the value of a phone that can be used on new devices, accessories or to pay a bill. For other, older, devices that may not have value, we will make sure that they are responsibly recycled, rather than have them end up in landfills. The EPA estimates that only 8 percent of cell phones are collected properly -- a stat we aim to change. Recycling old devices is easier than it’s ever been. Either stop by an AT&T store or use our online trade-in program: we will recycle any phone or tablet, regardless of make, model or original carrier.

I understand, of course, and even share the hesitancy to recycle phones that may have sensitive or personal data on them. That’s why AT&T developed a kit to help safely remove data from phones. I encourage you to use this kit yourself or, if you’re coming into an AT&T retail store, ask one of our retail associates to assist you.

As I look forward to 2014, I can’t help but be excited about AT&T’s expansion of our  Eco-Rating system, which rates devices based on sustainability attributes and our support of the wider adoption of Skip the Bag, an in-store program for which AT&T makes a donation to an environmental non-profit when customers decline a bag at point of purchase.

So join me in starting things off right in 2014 by cleaning your drawers and recycling your old tech.

For more information about our consumer sustainability initiatives, please visit

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014.