The Friends of the National Conservation Training Center will sponsor a cell phone recycling drive through Dec. 30 at several area places including the Ram's Den and outside room 304 of the Stutzman-Slonaker building at Shepherd University; Four Seasons Books, 116 W. German St.; collection box near lobby desk at Byrd Auditorium building at NCTC for NCTC employees and trainees only; Hillside Veterinary Clinic, 191 Augustine Ave., Charles Town, W.Va.; and Tranquility Salon and Spa, 400 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown.
Working phones are issued to needy individuals, such as recently discharged hospital patients who might need to quickly call for help, and battered women's shelters. Nonworking phones are disassembled and recycled.
An important rare mineral called coltan is used in cell phones. It is mined in areas of important gorilla habitat and the mining destroys vegetation needed by these animals. The more coltan that can be recycled, the less intensive the mining effort needs to be. Also, cell phones contain many persistent environmental contaminants that can leach out when they are crushed in landfills.