Vodafone Ghana in partnership with Recell Ghana Limited has launched a mobile phone re-cycling campaign to reduce improper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) and promote re-cycling of unused phones.
The re-cycling campaign which took place in Accra yesterday also seeks to reduce mineral extraction and energy consumption in the manufacture of new phones.
Nana Yaa Ofori-Koree, Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation and Sustainability, said obsolete and irreparable handsets, like any e-waste could become a significant environmental issue if not disposed properly in a safe and secure manner.
“By not recycling e-waste, valuable minerals are lost and potentially hazardous metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury can leach into the ground from disposals into landfills, causing detrimental damage to the soil, water supply, vegetation, animals and humans”, she said.
She said the re-use of working phones avoids more mineral extraction and energy consumption in the manufacture of new phones.
Nana Ofori-Koree said studies reveal that a significant number of Ghanaians have old mobile phones stowed away at home, with many having upwards of three phones.
She said: “As a major corporate organisation in Ghana, Vodafone recognises that we have a responsibility to care for and reduce our effect on the environment and to offer our employees and customers a more sustainable way of living.
“This is the premise upon which we have created a campaign to urge Ghanaians to dispose off their obsolete and irreparable handsets and batteries in a safe way”.
Nana Ofori-Koree said Vodafone Ghana and Recell Ghana will ensure that collected e-waste will be handled and disposed in a responsible and environmental-friendly manner.
She also said collection bins have been placed at their retail shops across the country to give Ghanaians and their customers a convenient way of disposing their old phones and batteries; stressing that everyone who disposes an unused and old phone in any of the bins will receive an encouraging incentive from Vodafone Ghana.
Mr Moses Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Recell Ghana Limited, said valuable metals such as lead, gold, cadmium, arsenic and mercury that are mined and or used to produce these phones can be re-used to produce new phones and preserve the unused minerals.
He said the dropped off phones would be shipped out of the country through legal and official means to be recycled.
He said last year, they shipped over three thousand kilos of mobile phones from the country and are expecting about 15000 unused phones from the generous citizenry to be recycled.
Mr Aidoo told the GNA in an interview that they chose to partner Vodafone Ghana because of how innovative they are.
“It is sometimes embarrassing to hear that Agbogbloshie is one of the most dirtiest places in the world because of e-waste and this step would go a long way to reduce that and protect the minerals of the country too”, he said.