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
255 new mobile stations for Senegal pilgrimageA total of 255 new mobile stations or BTS antennas have been made available in Senegal by SONATEL to cater for millions of Mouride believers who have gathered to the ‘holy city’ of Touba for their annual religious pilgrimage called ‘Magal de Touba’. Read More
Airtel customers to pay for Nairobi parking with Airtel MoneyBharti Airtel has partnered with Jambo Pay and Nairobi City County to introduce a payment option for parking fees via the Airtel Money platform. Read More
4G tests must be free, warns Senegal regulatorSenegal’s telecommunication regulator last week warned telecommunications companies not to charge users during their 4G tests. Read More
Ghana Telecoms Chamber, UNICEF launch Africa against Ebola SMS campaignThe Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, together with UNICEF, has officially launched the Africa against Ebola Solidarity SMS Campaign. Read More
Safaricom launches LTE AdvancedSafaricom has launched its LTE Advanced (4G) proposition in Kenya. Read More
MTN apologises to SA customers for network disruptionsMTN has issued an apology to South African customers affected by service disruptions in the past two weeks. Read More
The delivery of international SMS: outlook for 2025Marking the 22nd anniversary of the first SMS, BICS says SMS will enjoy a healthy future, at least for the next 10 years. Read More
Chris wins Ghana Vodafone Icons 2014 in grand styleThe auditorium of Ghana’s national theatre came to a standstill on Wednesday night as the master of ceremonies for the occasion announced Chris as the overall winner of the 2014 Vodafone Icon contest. Read More
Airtel Ghana sweeps PR Excellence AwardsAirtel Ghana, Telecommunications giant and winner of CIMG Marketing Oriented Company of the Year, has won five awards at the 2014 Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.