National Cell Phone Recycling Week is in line with Sprint’s mission to reduce the environmental impact of products and services. In March, Sprint launched expanded wireless buy-back program.

Sprint Buyback offers an instant account credit at point of sale to current and new Sprint customers who turn in up to three eligible wireless devices, per active line of service each year.

More than 900 wireless devices are currently eligible for credit of up to $250 at more than 2,400 participating Sprint retail stores nationwide.

Sprint Project Connect accepts all wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition and is available to everyone. Sprint also offers in-store financial incentives to consumers for recycling their eligible devices regardless of make, manufacturer or carrier.

Sprint, which has set a long-term goal to recover for reuse or recycling the equivalent of 90% of handsets sold by 2017 has registered a collection rate of 42% for 2009, up from a 34% rate the previous year.

In total, Sprint claims that its take back programs have diverted more than 20 million cell phones from landfills for reuse or recycling since 2001.

To further drive recycling rates, Sprint is launching a video on April 5 entitled ‘16,000 Phones’ providing program updates and statistics via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the Sprint Community site during National Cell Phone Recycling Week.

Ralph Reid, vice president of corporate responsibility at Sprint, said: ” Sprint is pleased to work again with the EPA to increase awareness and consumer participation in electronics recycling, or eCycling.

“We are committed to eCycling efforts. With approximately 16,000 cell phones discarded every hour in the US, we encourage our customers and other wireless customers to give their old phones a second life by recycling them.”