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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington


Green scheme to recycle old mobile phones for charity

January 6, 2005 12:00 AM
Nokia Mobile Phone

Phone recycling can make money for charity and protect the environment

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake is asking his constituents to recycle their old mobiles for charity and start off the New Year on a green note.

Some of the UK's leading charities have teamed up with specialist recycling company The Recycling Appeal to run eco-friendly fundraising appeals, meaning every mobile you donate can generate vital funds for your chosen cause.

The phones are refurbished and resold, with a substantial portion of the proceeds going to charitable organisations. All you have to do is choose which charity you want to donate to - Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the Royal National Institute of the Blind, the Children's Hospice Association Scotland or Northern Ireland Hospice Care.

Jamie Rae, chief executive of Eurosource, said: "When people receive fancy new mobiles for Christmas, their old phones are often forgotten about." These phones join the UK's estimated 75million redundant mobiles - enough phones to stretch from London to Lapland more than three times!

Mr Brake said, "If you received a new mobile phone for Christmas, don't forget you can put your old one to good use by recycling it for charity."

Whilst the festive season provides a fantastic opportunity to recycle old mobiles, there's another product which can also be recycled for money - empty printer cartridges. These too can raise much-needed cash, so if you work in an office or have a printer at home, you have the potential to boost charity funds.

If you have a mobile phone or printer cartridge to donate, simply call 08712 50 50 50 or visit, state which of the five charities you'd like to support, and ask for a FREEPOST envelope. Then all you have to do is pop it in the post.

If your workplace uses company mobiles or printer cartridges, you can ask to make regular donations - we'll either send out freepost bags, or send a courier to your premises every few months to collect your donations. What's more, The Recycling Appeal can set up an account which allows regular donors to support any charity they want, including local causes.

The Recycling Appeal

1. The Recycling Appeal, is five years old, has an annual turnover of £3 million and employs 100 staff in the UK, Ireland, France and Spain

2. The company has won 'Best Inspirational Business for CSR 2004' through SBC, 'Best International Business in the Forth Valley 2004' and 'Best Performing Business in Scotland 2003' through Scottish Enterprise. The company was also a finalist for 'Business of the Year' at the National Business Awards for Scotland as well as finalist for the coveted National

Business Awards (London) CSR Award.

3. The company has recycled almost 2million kg of mobile phone and printer cartridges since 1999.

4. The company is ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), ISO 9001 (Quality Management), EMAS (Eco Management Audit Scheme) and Investors In People accredited.)

Mobile Phone Recycling

1. In the next four years, Europe could recycle 50,000 tons of mobile phones - the same weight as the Forth Rail Bridge.

2. Nicad batteries contain Cadmium, a dangerous toxic and carcinogenic substance. The quantity in landfill sites is significant, and considerable toxic contamination is caused by the effects of Cadmium leaking into surrounding soils. Cadmium poisoning can cause kidney failure in humans.

Printer Cartridge Recycling

1. Printer Ink costs more than vintage champagne; manufacturers charge consumers around #1.70 per millilitre of printer ink compared to 23p per millilitre for 1985 Dom Perignon. However, if you purchase remanufactured printer cartridges you can pay as little as 10% of the printer ink price.

2. An inkjet cartridge takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. 3. It takes 1.5 pints of oil to make one printer cartridge. The 17 million laser cartridges recycled in Europe in 2002 resulted in the saving of 6 million litres of virgin oil which would fill three Olympic sized swimming pools.