RE:MOBILE is an accredited Product Stewardship Scheme, managed by the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum Incorporated (TCF), which collects and recycles unwanted mobile devices in partnership with network operators 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone; and recycling partner SwapKit.
In the 2017 financial year, RE:MOBILE collected 101,630 unwanted devices; saving over 11 tonnes of hazardous waste from going to landfill. These phones are either wiped of data and refurbished, and then on-sold to emerging markets; or recycled, with over 96% of components re-used in the circular economy.
An additional benefit of the scheme is that it contributes a share of the profits to Sustainable Coastlines, a multi-award winning New Zealand charity, which works towards cleaner waterways. In the 2017 financial year, Sustainable Coastlines collected over 80 tonnes of waste from beaches and planted almost 20,000 native trees beside waterways.
The RE:MOBILE scheme provides an avenue for anyone in New Zealand to donate unwanted mobile handsets and accessories for re-use or recycling. There are over 300 drop-off points around New Zealand; including any 2degrees, Spark or Vodafone store. A freepost address is also available for consumers to post their unwanted devices to the scheme.
For consumers concerned about protecting their data, the TCF provides information on how to protect personal data when recycling. But many consumers don’t recycle their phones simply because they don’t know how to do so. Latest survey results show 54% of consumers hold on to their old devices when they buy a new one; 16% of those even when they are no longer working.
“The production of mobile phones is a very intensive use of the earth’s resources” says Geoff Thorn, CEO of the TCF. “By recycling minerals from unwanted devices, we’re able to put those materials back into the process of new phone production. With the help of consumers donating unwanted devices, we can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the telecommunications industry.”
The complete FY2017 RE:MOBILE Annual Report is available at the link below:https://www.tcf.org.nz/consumers/mobile/mobile-phone-recycling/collection-results/