Telcos in drive to recycle counterfeit phones
MOBILE| Sept. 19, 2012, 3:24 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
As Kenya gears for the switching off of counterfeit mobile phones, the biting question has been on how to handle the anticipated surge in electronic-waste (e-waste).
To tame the e-waste menace, mobile phone handset manufacturer Nokia has partnered with local mobile service providers and retail outlets to collect and recycle counterfeit phones, ahead of the planned switch-off by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).
The company, which already has several collection points at its customer care centres, has partnered with Safaricom, Airtel, Nakumatt, Naivas, Phonelink, and Tuskys to ensure an additional 100 collection points are set up across the country, making it easier for consumers to dispose of fake phones.
Ahead of the CCK’s planned switch-off at the end of September 2012, there has been mounting concern amongst Kenyan NGOs, environmental agencies and consumers as to what will happen to these devices once they are discarded.
The number of counterfeit handsets in use around the country is estimated at over two million, and it is feared that once switched off the handsets will end up in landfills, contributing to the growing e-waste threat in the country.
Rresearch conducted by Nokia in late 2011 indicated that only 14% of Kenyans were aware that mobile phones could be recycled, and only 2% were actively recycling these devices.
“Consumers in Kenya, like in many countries across the globe, are unaware of the environmental benefits of recycling their broken or unwanted mobile phones,” says Bruce Howe, General Manager for Nokia East Africa.
"The reality is that mobile phones contain many valuable and useful materials that can be recycled, including precious metals and plastics. In fact, for every one million phones recycled, it is possible to recover nearly 35kg of gold and 350kg of silver, which can be re-used in the production of future electronic goods,” he said.
With over 6,000 collection points in about 100 countries, Howe says Nokia runs the largest mobile phone recycling programme in the world.
“The company’s recycling program generates no revenue for the company, but is an important part of its overall sustainability initiatives. As part of this program Nokia collects and recycles handsets and mobile phone accessories, including counterfeit ones and those of other manufacturers,” he said.
“We have the capability to manage a recycling program of this nature and to ensure that these phones are broken down and recycled to the highest quality standards. In addition to the benefit from re-using the materials, this also greatly reduces the need for virgin minerals and reduces carbon emissions,” adds Howe.
“If all the people currently using mobile phones recycled just one unused phone at the end of its life, together we could save nearly 370,000 tonnes of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 6 million cars off the road”.
Nokia is also working with the Anti-Counterfeits Authority (ACA), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), as well as local operators to encourage consumers to adopt a recycling mentality.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Ghana Telecom Awards confirm Vodafone Ghana leader in mobile internetIndustry players and analysts at this year’s Ghana Telecom Awards were not surprised when Vodafone Ghana was adjudged the ‘Mobile Broadband Provider of the Year’. Read More
The transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in GhanaSmartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye. Read More
TNS, Kantar Media in strategic mobile research partnership with GeoPoll in AfricaGlobal research consultancy TNS has announced an exclusive partnership with GeoPoll to deploy a new range of research products and services intended to improve market research in Africa. Read More
5th edition of Tigo Ghana Meets Naija launchedThe biggest musical concert on the events calendar, Ghana Meets Naija, returns in its fifth year, with an even bigger and more exciting package for music fans in both Ghana and Nigeria. Read More
Tigo launches bid to become biggest 4G network in TanzaniaTigo Tanzania has launched a brand new 4G LTE technology, which it says will make it the biggest and fastest Internet network in the country. Read More
Tigo Big Six - data liberation for Ghanaian subscribersTigo’s Unlimited (Tigo Big Six) package gives real freedom to new customers to enjoy extended internet access. Read More
Mobile Africa 2015: African phone use decodedA survey of mobile phone usage in five African countries has delivered startling findings on the rise of Internet access via phones, the potential demise of Nokia and the continued appeal of BlackBerry. Read More
President Jonathan commends operators on National Mobile Health Insurance collaborationNigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has commended telecoms operators for their collaborative efforts in putting Nigerians on the National Mobile Health Insurance programme platform. Read More
Vodafone Ghana Fixed Broadband customers get bundle extensionVodafone Ghana says it will soon be offering a one-week validity extension to all fixed broadband users in the country. Read More
Airtel, UNAIDS partnerThe Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has explained that the partnership of the telco with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will allow ample opportunity to further promote its Touching Lives initiative aimed at positively impacting on Nigerians, especially in the area of quality healthcare ... Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.