Mark Bridge writes:
Recycling an unwanted mobile phone makes sense. It’s good for the environment and it generates cash as well.
Newer phones recycled in Western Europe are likely to be reconditioned and resold locally, while older models may be reconditioned for use in developing countries. Damaged phones are either used for spares or are broken down for the metals and minerals in their components.
But what happens when people in those developing countries need to recycle their phones?
Orange - the France Telecom company - says there’s no organised mobile recycling available on the continent, so it’s arranged something itself. The network operator is now collecting mobiles in Africa and taking them to France for recycling. It’s working with Emmaüs International to collect old mobiles in Burkina Faso, Benin and Madagascar. A further facility in Niger is due to open later this year.
An 8-ton container of old mobile phones has recently been shipped from Burkina Faso, with other containers due to follow. Almost 20 tons of mobile phone waste has already been collected by the Orange initiative; the equivalent of over 130,000 mobile devices. Phones are being recycled by Ateliers du Bocage in France.
Last year, Orange collected more than 300,000 unwanted mobile phones in France.