Due to a new state law that went into effect last week, people who dispose of old cell phones by tossing them into the trash risk fines as high as $25,000. From now on, cell phone retailers must accept the recycling responsibility for old phones; businesses that fail to devise recycling plans could be shut down. The bill – authored by Democrat Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills – was designed to keep cell phone batteries from becoming a toxic nuisance in municipal landfills. As a result of Pavley’s bill, many of the 215 million cell phones currently in use in the United States will eventually be sent to a company in Michigan that either refurbishes and resells the phones – often overseas – or appropriately disposes of them with other batteries.

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