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
MTN Uganda receives US$100 000 towards community projectsMTN Group today recognised employees in Uganda for their selflessness and dedication towards improving the lives of ordinary people, including the blind, as part of this year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign, a popular employee volunteer initiative in MTN markets. Read More
Airtel partners with UNESCO for youth IT training in GabonBharti Airtel has unveiled a new training programme to impart new technological skills to thousands of youth in Gabon in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Read More
Samsung donates 3,000 smartphones in support of the fight against EbolaSamsung Electronics Co will donate 3,000 smartphones, worth about USD 1 million, to support the ongoing fight against Ebola. Read More
Tigo gives customers free 250MB data on Alcatel smartphonesTigo Ghana is giving away free 250MB data and 60 minutes' talk time per month for a year to customers who purchase the latest Alcatel Pixi 2 handset. Read More
Huawei joins Vodafone to bolster E-learning in refugee campHuawei has come out in support of an initiative to supply over 18,000 refugee students in Africa’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, with tablet PCs for education. Read More
SA author writes acclaimed novel using BlackBerry smartphoneA South African businessman and author has written an entire novel using his smartphone. Read More
Blu Telecommunications partners Huawei on 4G LTE networkBlu Telecommunications, a Ghanaian owned and managed telecommunications company deploying ultra-fast 4G LTE network ,will partner Huawei Technologies to provide a wide range of telecommunications services using 4G LTE technology. Read More
Airtel Malawi launches US$35,000 Musical CompetitionAirtel Malawi has launched a K14 million (US$34,508.26) mobile music competition which will be conducted in a partnership with Trace Music Star and international music super star Akon. Read More
UNHCR, Safaricom to take tablets to Dadaab refugeesThe United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Vodafone Foundation and Safaricom, have announced a partnership to bring transformative mobile-based education programmes to pupils at 13 schools in one of the world's largest refugee camps. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
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.