AT&T: Turns up the volume on cell phone recycling

Invites Wisconsin Wireless Users To Recycle Wireless Phones and Provide Free Phone Cards to Military Members Away from Home During the Holidays

Eau Claire, Wis., December 7, 2009 — AT&T* is inviting wireless users throughout Wisconsin to honor veterans by recycling cell phones in all 21 AT&T-owned stores in the state. AT&T’s cell phone recycling program supports Cell Phones for Soldiers, a charity that uses recycling proceeds to buy and send free phone cards to military members stationed away from home.

Every time a wireless customer recycles a used wireless phone with AT&T, part of the proceeds support Cell Phones for Soldiers to send free prepaid phone cards to troops overseas. Since July 2008, recycling has helped the charity send more than 350,000 free phone cards to military members away from home. With the help of wireless customers throughout the country, AT&T will match its 2008 recycling totals with the charity, year to year, through 2010, aiming to provide Cell Phones for Soldiers with $1 million in proceeds in that time.

During a December 7th event at the AT&T Wireless store located at 4620 Golf Road in Eau Claire, local veterans joined Sen. Pat Kreitlow, AT&T Wisconsin State President Scott T. VanderSanden, and the AT&T Pioneers – a volunteer group of AT&T employees and retirees — to launch a holiday donation drive. In an effort to support military families with more free phone cards, AT&T is asking wireless users to recycle their used phones through the holiday season and beyond.

“With the holidays just around the corner, it is more important than ever for our servicemen and women to be able to connect with family and friends back home,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “I’m proud to be here today with Sen. Pat Kreitlow, local veterans and the AT&T Pioneers to kick-off this important holiday Cell Phones for Soldiers donation drive.”

“Our men and women in uniform willingly put themselves in harm’s way, and serve in distant lands far from home and family, to keep us safe,” said Sen. Kreitlow. “I would like to urge everyone with an old cell phone to please donate it to this worthy cause. It means so much to our troops serving overseas to be able to talk to their loved ones – especially during the holiday season.”

Since July 2007, AT&T has been offering wireless users two simple ways to donate phones for the cause. Wireless customers from any carrier can drop off used cell phones and accessories at any of the 2,000-plus AT&T-owned stores across the U.S. Or, they can download free shipping labels from Free online tools are also available to support community groups and help individuals launch and conduct their own donation drives with a new electronic “starter kit,” available on the web site.

In its second year of work with AT&T (July 2008-July 2009), Cell Phones for Soldiers has recycled more than 2.1 million phones, an increase of more than 43 percent versus the same time last year. And, the charity used its 2008-2009 recycling proceeds to send more than 350,000 prepaid phone cards to the troops to help them stay in touch with friends and family for free.

In addition, the AT&T Pioneers — a network of more than 300,000 AT&T volunteers — has been working since 2008 to expand the charity’s cell phone donation drives into communities across the U.S. Since last spring, the Pioneers’ efforts have generated more than 25,000 wireless phones for recycling, and volunteers continue to collect phones in corporate offices and community locations throughout the country.

For more information about AT&T’s efforts to support military families, please visit

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