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Spotlight on Award Winners: Sprint Network Vision E-Waste Elimination

 project of the year badge“Spotlight on Award Winners” is a series of articles featuring winners from the Environmental Leader Product & Project Award winners. Read Sprint’s complete award listing here.

Sprint’s Network Vision is a plan to consolidate multiple technologies into one new network, with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing coverage, call quality and data speeds. But by phasing out and dismantling iDEN Nextel National Network and replacing equipment on the Sprint Nationwide CDMA network, Network Vision is generating a significant amount of materials that need to be disposed of properly. Because the company is determined to “protect the environment through waste reduction, reuse and recycling,” Sprint is recycling all the equipment shed during Network Vision, including switching equipment, radios, antennas, coax cables, lead-acid batteries, and more.

Darren Beck, director of Environmental Initiatives at Sprint, says the initiative averted 175 million pounds of e-waste and other materials from landfills, saving the company over $275 million. “Recycling or reusing every part of a nationwide wireless network was a huge undertaking – especially considering the third-party suppliers involved – but it’s one that we were committed to. Having monitoring processes in place helped us validate that our policies were being adhered to and demonstrate that our suppliers take our sustainability goals as seriously as we do.”

This week, Sprint was also awarded the EPA’s WasteWise National Partner of the Year Award for Very Large Companies.

Sprint vice president of procurement and real estate, Gene Agee, says the company remains focused on developing new programs that will help it achieve its waste-reduction goals and improve waste-handling processes.

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