Why tuck your old mobile phones away in a drawer?
Around 9 million mobile phones are in current circulation in Switzerland, with another 8 million unused mobile phones tucked away in drawers. On average, people change their phones every 12-18 months (Swico).
Through recuperating unused phones, the Solidarcomm campaign is a solution that is environmental, social and united.
Environmental: because phones do not end up in the bin, meaning that the heavy metals and other harmful substances typically found in phones do not further pollute the environment.
Social: because the old mobile phones are sorted and renovated by the Geneva-based association Pro, who favour the employment of disabled people and therefore promote both professional and social reintegration.
United: because the campaign provides financing for a range of projects across Asia, Africa and South America that help children and encourage sustainable development.
How does Solidarcomm work?
Unused phones can be disposed in a variety of places, such as town hall reception areas (Bellevue, Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Chêne-Bourg, Confignon, Grand-Saconnex, Meinier, Meyrin, Lancy, Onex, Troinex and Vernier), a refuse collection site in Geneva as well as the reception areas of institutions such as Geneva university, the medicine faculty and the sports centre in Sous-Moulin.
We can also organise collection points within businesses or communities; contact us if you are interested!
So what happens to ‘our old companions’?
The used phones are brought to Pro, where they are then sorted and tested. Any phones which are no longer working are then recycled in Switzerland with respect to environmental norms and standards. Any phones which still work or which can be renovated are then handed over to an organisation which markets and sells them in developing countries.
All profits from Solidarcomm are given back to Terre des Hommes Suisse. This money is put towards development projects in Africa, Asia and South America. Furthermore, Solidarcomm is a dependable channel in which a way of telecommunication can be provided for populations with weak purchasing power, and where fixed phone lines are often rare and costly.