City schools to help recycle old phones

Published 2:14 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

With schools across the state facing budget cuts this fiscal year, the Andalusia City Schools system is dialing up a creative way to earn some extra money.

ACS Superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty announced at Monday’s meeting of the Andalusia Board of Education that the system’s three schools will participate in a cell phone recycling fund-raiser. Each school will have a collection box where parents and other citizens can drop off old cell phones and other accessories. The schools will then send those obsolete electronics to EcoPhones, who will recycle them and return the proceeds to ACS.

“This is a good project for us in many ways,” McAnulty said. “This will help us stay ‘green’ and protect the environment by recycling these items that are full of heavy metals. The thing I like best is that nobody has to buy anything or sell anything.

“We’ll get something for every item that we send to be recycled, and every cent of it is going to go toward technology for our schools.”

After the board unanimously approved the fund-raising project, McAnulty said the schools “could have boxes ready by Friday.” Items that will be accepted for the recycling program include cell phones — both working and non-working, ink jet printer cartridges, laptop notebook computers, iPods and digital cameras. Items that will not be accepted include phone accessories — car chargers, earphones, etc., desktop computers and monitors.

According to promotional materials by EcoPhones, the average American replaces a cell phone every 12-18 months and there will be 130 million cell phones discarded in the U.S. in 2008. These phones contain toxic materials such as arsenic, lead and zinc, which have been associated with cancer and other disorders.

“This company is very responsible and will recycle the phones in such a way that they can harvest these dangerous materials,” McAnulty said. “All we need to do is have somebody pick the boxes up when they’re full and send them to the company; the shipping is free.”

For further information about the project and its requirements, visit EcoPhones at

In other business, the board:

elected officers for the new year. David Bryant will serve as board chairman and Joe Nix will be vice-chairman.

approved the hire of Wanda Wytch, bookkeeper and secretary at Andalusia Elementary School, effective Oct. 14.

rescinded previous actions naming Nicole Jackson the math grade level chair at Andalusia High School and Bennie Shellhouse the fine arts grade level chair at AHS. Approved naming Louise Anderson the math grade level chair at AHS and Joni Brannon the fine arts grade level chair at AHS.

The next meeting of the board will be Mon., Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at Andalusia Middle School. The board will also have a work session Tues., Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the central office.