Two-Thirds of Canadians are Holding On to an Old Cell Phone

Christine Persaud

Published: 04/20/2017 08:21:01 AM EST in Industry

Two-Thirds of Canadians are Holding On to an Old Cell Phone

According to Recycle My Cell, 62% of Canadians are holding on to a cell phone they are no longer using. The organization is urging Canadians to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by recycling those unused cell phones and accessories.

Recycle My Cell, Canada's free cell phone recycling program, helps point consumers to the nearest drop-off location. Canadians can visit and to enter their postal code and locate the drop-off locations closest to them where their old wireless devices will be accepted, regardless of brand or condition.

If a consumer cannot get to one of the drop-off locations in their neighbourhood, the website offers printable postage-paid labels that can be used to mail the device back to Recycle My Cell at no cost.

"I am thrilled to see Canadians' support for cell phone recycling programs remains very strong," says Robert Ghiz, President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), commenting the results from the 2016 Understanding Cellphone Recycling Behaviours survey released today. "As more Canadians are using their mobile devices to do more, it's increasingly important that they give their old cell phones a proper send-off. I am proud of the work being done by Recycle My Cell to give Canadians the information they need to do just that."

The survey found that the number of Canadians holding on to old cell phones represents an increase from just 48% in 2015. Canadians report storing an average of 2.1 phones.

However, support for cell phone recycling remains extremely high, with 96% of Canadians either supporting or somewhat supporting the concept of recycling old, unused or unwanted phones.

Quebecors were the most likely to have cell phones in storage (65%), while Prince Edward Islanders were the least likely (47%).

Nearly half of Canadians (46%) have owned four cell phones or more prior to their current one. Two in five have respectively owned two (20%) or three (20%) phones prior to their current one, while 13% have owned one.

More than nine in 10 Canadians (92%) actively use one cell phone, while 6% of Canadians actively use two cell phones, and 1% use three cell phones or four cell phones or more, respectively.

In total, 649,503 wireless devices were recovered in 2016, and 7,068,494 wireless devices have been recovered since 2005.

Recycle My Cell offers more than 2,500 drop-off locations across Canada.

Municipalities, recycling depots, businesses and community organizations across the country can support the Recycle My Cell program by hosting a drop-off location year-round. Registration is quick and easy, and pre-paid shipping and promotional materials are provided at no cost. For more information, please visit or contact

The 2016 Understanding cell phone recycling behaviours survey, commissioned by the CWTA, was completed by Nanos Research from December 2 to 19, 2016.

Article Tags:  recycle, cell, phones, old, used, cwta, canada, earth day


Two-Thirds of Canadians are Holding On to an Old Cell Phone

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