Spring 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Award Nominations Open

GIS Drive to Excellence
GIS Pandemic Needs
GeoService Finder
Red River LIDAR
Groundwater Webmap
08 Photo Update
Improving Structures Data

Governor's Council
Strategic Planning Directions
Award Nominations Open
Meeting Webcasts

OpenSource Group

Input for State Planning
Goodhue User Group

Census Atlas
Census PSAP
NGAC Named
USGS Research Agenda
Sunspots Impact GPS
GPS with Maps
Geology Map
Soil Viewer Update
Recycle Cell Phones

Higher Education
Dangermond to Speak
UofM Career Day
GIS Primer

Borchert Remembered
Two Minnesotans on NGAC
Jay Bell
Bob McMaster

Other Places
Free GPS Visualizer
Global Incident Map
Russian GPS Update


EPA Pushes Cell Phone Recycling
Editor’s Note: As more people upgrade their cell phones to GPS and GIS applications, what do they do with the old phone? The following information from EPA Fact sheet: EPA530-F-07-046, January 2008, offers some ideas. To learn more, go to

As cell phones, computers, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) become more prominent in our everyday lives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking steps to encourage consumers to recycle these products instead of adding them to our nation’s landfills. As part of this initiative, EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling program has teamed up with leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to launch a national campaign encouraging Americans to recycle or donate their unwanted cell phones.

Plug-In To eCycling partners supporting this campaign are: AT&T, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, and T-Mobile.

To kick off the initiative, the Campaign has released a series of print public service announcements that highlight the convenience and environmental and social benefits of recycling a cell phone. EPA has also released a series of downloadable podcasts featuring experts in the electronics recycling field discussing the many ways that consumers can reuse and recycle their electronics and addressing many common questions and concerns. During 2008, look for the Campaign to host special cell phone collection events and increase publicity for our partners’ recycling programs.

EPA has targeted cell phone recycling because, despite the large number of programs, most consumers still do not know where or how they can recycle their cell phones. Consequently, less than 20 percent of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year. Recycling cell phones leads to significant environmental savings and can benefit communities:

Recycling: an Easy Call - Every day there are thousands of opportunities to recycle cell phones and accessories. Many cell phone retailers, manufacturers, and service providers have ongoing collection programs where phones can be dropped off or mailed in—regardless of the age or brand. Some charitable organizations and state or municipal solid waste programs also offer cell phone recycling. In most cases, cell phone recycling is free.

Recycling: a Green Call - Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. Cell phones are made from precious metals, copper, and plastics—all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling these materials not only conserves resources, but prevents air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, if all of the 100 million cell phones ready for end of life management in the U.S. are recycled, we could save enough energy to power more than 194,000 U.S. households with electricity for one year.

Recycling: a Social Call - Donating your cell phone also benefits your community. When cell phones and accessories are in good working condition, some programs donate them to a number of worthy charities or provide them for discounted sale to those who need them. In addition, many recycling programs use the proceeds to raise funds for charitable organizations, schools, churches and other social causes. In some cases, programs buy the phone back from the consumer.