At Nokia, we have extended the reach of our take-back and recycling programs beyond our own channels. Our efforts are focused on engaging with people who have access to large amounts of old and unused mobile phones and accessories which can be recycled.
Responsible Recycling with the Formalized Informal Sector
In India, a majority of the e-waste that is produced, is gathered by informal recyclers. The recycling practices used by them are primitive and cause severe health and environmental impacts. In 2012, Nokia began a pilot project to leverage the reach and collection and strength of the formalized informal sector and the recycling technology strength of the responsible authorised recyclers. The goal of the pilot is to empower and enable the informal sector e-waste collectors to collect and sell e-waste to responsible recyclers instead of illegal ones, thereby protecting livelihoods as well as the environment. Having partnered with Chintan, a Delhi based Non-Government Organization which works with issues surrounding the environment and social justice, more than 150 waste collectors have been trained and are currently reaching out to hundreds of households. Over 3000 mobile phones were collected for recycling within the first month of this initiative. The initiative aims to evolve into a replicable model or at the very least, lead to a significant increase in the collection of old mobile phones and accessories from households, retail and repair stores. To further explore and establish responsible recycling in the informal sector, Nokia has partnered with GIZ for a two year public private partnership program. Under this partnership work with the informal sector would be initiated in the cities of Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
Recycling Engagement with Small Repair Stores
A significant number of old mobile phones after going through multiple ownerships end up at small repair stores throughout the India. These repair stores are not familiar with e-waste and its proper management. In 2011 Nokia partnered with Humana People to People India, a Non-Government Organization which works towards international solidarity, co-operation and development. The partnership approached these small establishments to educate them on the topic of e-waste and provide them with access to its responsible recycling. More than 6000 stores in 25 metropolitan areas in the country are enrolled with the program. Each enrolled establishment undertakes the responsibility of engaging with their neighborhood mobile phone stores and encourages them to channel their e-waste to a responsible recycler. In the first year alone, over 50,000 phones were recycled with the help of this program.