Every year, Americans throw away enough garbage to create a landfill the size of Pennsylvania. For years, environmentalists have encouraged people to recycle their paper, plastic and aluminum cans
, but over time, the landfill landscape has changed. These days, one of the worst eco-offenders is an item that didn't even exist a few decades ago—the cell phone.
Before you toss another piece of e-waste into the trash, think twice. About 125 million mobile phones are discarded every year, and many of them are made with hazardous materials like lead, mercury and flame retardants. Some even contain arsenic.
If you're ready for an upgrade, take a moment to find out where you can safely recycle cell phones in your area. "You can collect them in your neighborhood, in your family [and your] community," Oprah says. Once you've terminated your service contract for that phone and erased all the data, find a local recycling center:
Get our state-by-state guide
to where to get rid of everything from cell phones to furniture.
Where to recycle cameras, computers and more
Sign Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge