More than 20 years ago, Ann Arbor, MI, based brothers Chuck and Allan Newman recognized a disquieting trend – an ever increasing number of Americans were carelessly discarding used cell phones when upgrading to newer models. And many of these discarded phones were needlessly ending up in landfills. The result was the creation of thousands of tons of solid waste every year - much of it hazardous. The Newmans saw the opportunity to pioneer a new industry that could both help protect the environment and prove profitable for investors.
Thus, in 1991, ReCellular, Inc. was born – with the mission to refurbish, reuse and responsibly recycle discarded cell phones, portable electronics and their accessories. Today, with offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Dexter, MI, and Hong Kong, ReCellular is the world’s largest recycler and reseller of used cell phones and accessories.
Two decades after its founding by the Newman brothers, ReCellular has recycled tens of millions of discarded phones. Additionally, ReCellular collects gently used phones that are still viable and has customers for these functional devices in more than 40 countries. ReCellular leverages this global network in order to find the most responsible solutions in the wireless handset industry. It is these sorts of evolving product offerings that will continue to fuel growth for ReCellular in the years to come.
The company has also committed itself to supporting charitable groups and non-profits all over the country. ReCellular partnered with the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association’s (CTIA) Wireless Foundation on the original Donate a Phone charitable recycling program, and has since developed long-standing relationships with key industry players such as Verizon Wireless, Motorola, Sprint and Best Buy. These donation programs allow grass roots groups to coordinate and execute their own cell phone recycling drives, which serve the dual purpose of keeping the items out of landfills and raising money that goes back to the groups. Over the last 20 years these programs have provided tens of millions of dollars to worthy organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers, March of Dimes and HopeLine.