why you should recycle your old mobile phone …
Proximus is committed to a circular economy. With the action ‘Don’t miss the call’, it wants to collect 100,000 old mobile phones this year. Part of the proceeds support entrepreneurs in Congo.
The mobile phone is a device with a fairly limited lifespan. “It’s estimated that people have at least three million old phones somewhere in a drawer or a closet in our country,” says Frédéric Lhostte, Head of Advanced Telco Services at Proximus. “Currently only five percent of old phones are recycled, while a mobile phone is ninety percent recyclable."
Fifty times more efficient than mining
‘Don’t miss the call’ emphasizes urban mining; instead of extracting raw materials by conventional mining, the project goes in search of raw materials in the city by recycling old phones. “Urban mining is fifty times more efficient than conventional mining,” Frédéric explained. A ton of ore yields 5 grams of gold. A recycling company can get 250 grams of gold from a ton of old mobile phones.
“URBAN MINING IS FIFTY TIMES MORE EFFICIENT THAN CONVENTIONAL MINING”
Head of Advanced Telco Services at Proximus
“With money, you take away poverty and create space to do business.”
Maarten Goethals, co-founder of non-profit organisation Eight
Non-profit organisation Eight supports Congo
"Furthermore, anyone who brings his old mobile phone into a Proximus Shop gets a reward for doing so,” Frédéric continued. “Depending on the type of phone and its reusability, you receive a voucher for 5 to 350 euro.” The consumer can use the voucher toward the purchase of a new phone. “But you can also help by donating the amount of the voucher to Eight.”
EIGHT SUPPORTS CONGO
How does 'Don’t miss the call' work?
- You hand in your old mobile phones at collection points. You can find them in the Proximus Shops, at Decathlon and at A.S. Adventure.
- In exchange, you will receive a voucher to spend or you can donate the money to the non-profit association Eight.
- Our partners Brainscape and Out Of Use check whether a device is reusable and they separate the electronic waste.
- The actual recycling of the raw materials takes place at Umicore in Hoboken.
Eight is a development project by Maarten Goethals and filmmaker Steven Janssens. The idea: fighting poverty with free money. The Belgian non-profit organization provides financial support to a small town in Congo. The people are using this to start their own small business. In this way they are developing their own alternative to working in illegal, dangerous and unhealthy cobalt mining. Eight distributes the money via an app, so that the villagers can pay digitally with their mobile phone.