In an effort to raise money for medical devices and lend aid to countries for emergency care, maternal care and infectious disease support, the San Diego State College of Sciences division of Associated Students is holding a used cell phone drive. The Physician Assistant Student Association is working with the College of Sciences to recycle cell phones for an organization called Hope Phones.
According to the Hope Phones website, 500,000 cell phones are discarded in the United States every day and pollute the environment with plastic and dangerous toxins. As a sustainable campus, the College of Sciences believes students at SDSU can help make a difference.
“Donating a phone that you don’t use anymore is very easy, and if enough students get involved with the drive, a lot of aid can be prepared to help out struggling countries,” journalism and media studies student Erik Christensen said.
This is PASA’s first time participating in this project and has collected around 50 phones so far. For every phone that is recycled, Hope Phones will receive $5 to donate to medical care in 11 countries. If it is able to recycle one percent of phones, it can help 50 million people.
“We want to help our environment here and our communities, and also help people abroad medically who don’t have the technology. We are using our lesser technology to formulate into money to increase their technology. I think that’s really cool,” A.S. College of Sciences representative Alana Brooks said.
The cell phone drive will be held the entire month of March and students can take the phones they wish to recycle to drop boxes throughout campus. Drop boxes will be located in the Preprofessional Health Advising Office, Geology Mathematics Computer Science 323, Student Life and Leadership, Student Services West 1661, School of Exercise and Nutritional Services Advising Department, ENS 351 and the Business Advising Center in Education and Business Administration 448.
“Our university’s future as well as our own future lies in our hands as students. It’s important to get involved in our school and make a difference in others’ lives in any way we can,” A.S. member Bridget Mulrooney said.
Students who don’t have a cell phone to recycle can still participate by donating money through the Hope Phones website at hopephones.org. Hope Phones is accepting all types of cell phones regardless of whether they’re functional, although it will receive more money for smart phones. Chargers and accessories are not necessary.
“I think everyone has old cell phones around their houses they can take and recycle. Usually people will just throw them away and that’s really not good for the environment. We have 30,000 students on this campus; we should be able to get at least 150 cell phones turned in,” Brooks said.