Dubai/Abu Dhabi: What you choose to do with your old mobile phone is well worth giving some thought to. You could sell it for a bargain price, or keep it for old times' sake, or better still get it recycled to do your bit for the environment?

Nokia recently launched a campaign to promote recycling by introducing drop-off points for used mobiles at all outlets. Residents are encouraged to part with their unwanted mobile phones of any brand in exchange for a voucher to download music.

The phones will then be sent to Europe to be taken apart and recycled by 10 Nokia-approved companies.

In a recent Gulf News poll, 30 per cent of respondents said they prefer to retain their old handset, 21 per cent said they only kept one phone, 20 per cent said they had sold a phone at some point, 14 per cent said they were still using their old handset, 10 per cent said they had junked an old mobile, and the remaining 5 per cent said they favoured recycling.

City Talk took to the streets to know more about the issue.

Hassan Al Mokdem, 32, an office manager fromEgypt, said: "I tend to keep them [old phones]. I have heard about phone recycling facilities but have no idea where they are. I might give my old mobile phones to friends and family, but I do not think I will recycle them because I will not be getting anything in return. I think that if retailers want to encourage people to recycle their mobile phones, they should give some sort of compensation, like a voucher for accessories."

Shannon Norris, from the United Kingdom, said: "I keep the old phones but when it comes to laptop computers, I try to give them to children who need it. I have heard about the recycling facilities and would definitely consider using them. There is a big issue about recycling going on at the moment but I am worried that they might not get treated correctly, and that all the materials end up getting mixed together. I am looking forward to recycling my mobile phone since the company I work at also deals with recycling products, which also follows the same principle of re-using materials."

Sageed Ala, 30, a marketing executive from Bangladesh, said: "I either sell my mobile phones and computers to shops or to friends. I have never heard about the concept of recycling electronics but think that it is a very good idea, which I might use."

Nelunika De Silva, 33, an architect from Sri Lanka, said: "I have only been in the country for two months, so I do not have any old phones as yet. But back home in Colombo, I always recycle my old mobile phones, as well as the charger and the battery. The mobile phone technology is something that becomes obsolete quickly, so I think that I will certainly use them [recyling services] here. But it would be better if there were more outlets that provided such recycling facilities, so that it will be easily accessible to everyone."

Elvecaa Kapoor, a radiographer from South Africa, said: "Recycling is a great initiative but must be done in a proper way. I have not heard of being able to recycle my old mobile phone in the UAE but I do not feel I can dump my phone without anything in return. I would rather sell it to a telephone shop or to someone who it can be useful for, because there are lots of people that cannot afford a first-hand phone. As for computers, I do not own one to comment."

Grace Moreno, 38, a midwife from the Philippines, said: "I give my old phones or computer to relatives back home. I was not aware of this new recycling procedure but I definitely feel it is a great and healthy initiative for the environment and do not mind recycling my phone if I feel it is too old to be used by anyone else."

Surendran Attassery, an auto mechanic from India, said: "I do not like the idea. I personally cannot afford to give my phone away and buy a new phone, so I would rather take care of my phone than to recycle it; if it needs to be updated or fixed, I will fix it and, once I am done with it, I will then sell it."

How many old phones do you have? What is the most innovative way in which you let go of an old set? Do you think recycling mobile phones can become a popular practice?

Your comments

I prefer to keep my 'old' phone as a back up just in case it breaks by accident...(and it has done!) however, I would prefer giving it to relatives for one very important reason, no matter how much you try to delete your personal info on the phone, etc.. in the form of notes, even calander notes, they will always reappear once a new sim card has been inserted. Thus , someone gets to see all this info. It is safer with family members.
Mrs. Neaimi
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 14, 2009, 14:56

I am ready to give away my old mobiles for free! I have around 7 of them. I may even send them for recycling. No, I don't look for rewards. I'm in fact tired of electronic junk at home - be it mobiles or TV or monitors. Now that it's vacation time, I may very well carry all of them to distribute among not-so-rich relatives.
Agniyah Shaikh
Posted: June 14, 2009, 13:53

Mobile phones last for years and this is not good for the manufacturers, they only make money when we buy new phones, which is why they keep bringing out new models to encourage us to change our phones. Therefore, if they want us to recycle our old phones they should offer a trade in and not some unwanted music vouchers for downloading tunes. By introducing a good cash trade-in on old phones, phone sales will increase thus increasing overall profitability and guaranteeing jobs for people as well as saving the world, don't you think!!!!
Posted: June 14, 2009, 13:15

I actually disagree with Candy. People need to have some motive to recycle their phones. Mobile phone companies should collect old phones of their brands i.e Nokia users give back their old phones, that company recycles them and gives them a % off their new phones
Nahel Selo
Posted: June 14, 2009, 11:32

Congratulations! This is interesting. Recycling is very much acceptable, environment friendly. I have several old Nokias also and find them more sturdy than the beautiful latest models.
Elizabeth E. Angeles
Posted: June 14, 2009, 11:08

i would prefer to give it to someone in need but cannot afford thats what i do.
Posted: June 14, 2009, 08:40

I have lots of old phones at home, Recycling is a very good idea rather than your old phone lying down in your cupboard. I totally disagree with what Mr. Hassan Al Mokdem is telling that you need to be compensated when you give your old phone for recyling.It is not mandatory to give out your old phone, it is Voluntary! no compensation is necesssary.
Candy Baldovino
Posted: June 14, 2009, 07:55