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Kenya Launches First Cell Phone Recycling Scheme

The first cell phone recycling scheme ever to be launched in Kenya is about to get underway courtesy of collaboration between cell phone service provider Safaricom and Computers for Schools Kenya (CSK), which runs a recycling scheme for computers in the country.

Bob Collymore, the chief executive officer of Safaricom, says that the decision shows that his company’s commitment to sustainability and a cleaner environment is more than just words by allowing the nation’s citizens to recycle their old cell phones.  “Through this partnership with CSK, we are giving Kenyans a greater chance to derive greater utility from their old damaged phones and accessories while institutionalizing a more sustainable way to handle waste associated with electronic equipments,” he says, adding that the company also has plans to undergo a carbon footprints analysis and carbon trading, to create sustainable results.  The company has also just been awarded a certificate for complying with environmental regulations in the Telecommunication sector for 2010 by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), which made the announcement yesterday.

Betty Nzioka, the deputy director of environmental awareness and public participation for NEMA, admits that there is a great need in Kenya for the kind of cell phone recycling scheme which Safaricom is about to implement, with the cell phone industry growing in leaps and bounds in the region.  LG Electronics alone is planning a four fold rise in the sale of smartphones in East Africa, hoping to shift more than thirty million units.