An Iowa City lawmaker wants to ensure cell phones — and the attached batteries — don’t wind up in the landfill. Senator Joel Bolkcom, a democrat from Iowa City, is sponsoring legislation that would force cell phone companies to accept old cell phones. The companies then would “properly dispose” of the cell phones. “Proper disposal will include those going to a recycling facility or a facility that is specifically in the business of handling batteries,” Bolkcom says. Cell phone use is skyrocketing, with some folks disconnecting their land lines and using a cell phone exclusively. “It’s important now that we start talking about a system that provides for collection and proper disposal (of cell phones),” Bolkcom says. He says cell phone batteries should not be thrown in the landfill because batteries eventually leak. The heavy metals used in cell phone batteries contaminate water when they’re buried in a landfill and start leaking, according to Bolkcom. He predicts the cell phone industry will be “apprehensive” about his proposal.
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