A new mobile phone every two years – that is now normal. So what do we do with the roughly 70 million mobile phones gathering dust in German drawers? Not in residual waste – most people know that. The simplest solution is to return the mobile phone to one of the network operators (O2, Vodafone, Telecom, E-Plus), either in-store or by mail (postage free). Irrespective of mobile phone operator and manufacturer, every mobile phone will be accepted. You can even do something good on returning the phone: all mobile phone manufacturers donate an amount of 2.50 – 3.00 euros for a charitable purpose for each mobile phone they take back. O2 supports WWF, Telekom supports the Deutsche Umwelthilfe, E-Plus has cooperation with NABU, and Vodafone donates to social projects.
Two advantages arise from the acceptance of the mobile phones: On the one hand, most collectors check the mobile phones for their correct function, and where applicable, they are re-used after minor repairs. This is the best solution, because there is no waste. However, if the devices are beyond repair, they are recycled according to their materials and, in particular, the valuable precious metals contained therein. This avoids the costly and negative environmental aspects involved in producing new raw materials.
Even easier is handing in old mobile phones directly at the workplace. Many companies have cooperation with an organization and provide a collection box for this. For example, the partners Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Telekom promote cooperation with companies (www.handysammelcenter.de). Collection boxes and flyers can be ordered, and the filled collection boxes can be returned post-free. The waste disposal and data-deletion process is certified by DEKRA.