In a survey conducted by Norstat on behalf of Telenor, 74 per cent of those over 18 who were questioned stated that they had one or more mobile phones at home that they did not use. One in three has more than two unused mobiles at home.
“The total market for mobile phones in December is believed to be around 200,000 units. This also says something about the number of mobile phones that are being left in drawers after Christmas. Fortunately, we want old mobile phones for Christmas at Telenor. Through our recycling scheme we can give last year’s Christmas presents new life through recycling or reuse,” says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.
Since 2009 Telenor has collected almost 500,000 mobile phones through its recycling scheme “Old Phone, New Life”. The volunteer effort to collect used mobiles is unique and is the largest collection of used mobile phones to ever take place in Norway. Collection takes place in businesses, through private individuals, in Telenor stores, and via the Norwegian Confederation of Sports.
Sports teams have collected 20 tonnes of mobiles
Among the largest collectors of used mobiles are Norwegian sports team collecting as part of Telenor’s agreement with the Norwegian Confederation of Sports. Clubs organised through the NCS can collect used mobiles, and for each mobile they manage to collect, their club receives NOK 35. Each mobile weighs on average 200 grams, and in 2013 alone, Norwegian sports teams have collected 20 tonnes (20,000 kilos) in total – the equivalent of almost 100,000 mobile phones.
“This is a great way for sports teams to earn a bit of extra cash. People can support their local sports team by donating their phone, while also being confident that the phone will be recycled or destroyed in a safe way,” says Svendsen.
Reuse creates new opportunities
The mobiles that can still be used have their contents securely deleted. Those that cannot be reused are sent in sealed containers to approved recycling sites in Norway. Svendsen believes there are many hidden benefits society may gain through the collection of old phones via this programme.
“Reuse creates new opportunities for people in new markets and reduces the burden on the environment through responsible recycling. All proceeds from the programme go back into Norwegian sport and local environmental initiatives,” concludes Svendsen.
Norwegian citicens can order a postage paid envelope for their old mobile phones here.