Recycled phones aid battered women in Saskatchewan

Source: Sasktel


You have had your trusty cell phone for a few years now. You have shared many a fond memory and it has been a big part of your life. But the time has come to move on, to upgrade, leaving your old cell phone buried somewhere in your storage room, or even worse, in the local landfill.

It doesn’t have to end this way!

Thankfully, SaskTel’s Phones for a Fresh Start program means there could be some good use left in your phone after all.

“The Phones for a Fresh Start program is a good way for people to dispose of phones they no longer need in an environmentally friendly way, and by doing so, giving something back to the community by supporting women’s shelters across the province,” said Deb Ottenbreit, Public Affairs Assistant (Community Relations). Through the program, SaskTel collects used cell phones from customers across the province at collection bins set up in all SaskTel Stores as well as participating dealers.

Once collected, the devices are recycled into parts to make other products. Any money made from having the phones recycled is used to purchase pre-paid calling cards that are distributed along with the phones given to the women’s shelters.

As part of the program, SaskTel, with the help of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), provides women’s shelters across the province with usable cell phones that have been bought back from customers, along with phone stock that has become obsolete.

These phones provide an essential communications tool for women in abusive situations, allowing women in the shelters to stay connected to their families and to be able to call for help if it is required.

The program has been very successful to this point.

“From the program’s inception in 2009 to the end of 2011, approximately 30,000 cell phones have been recycled,” Deb said. “We are also excited to have 66 dealers participating, and 19 shelters receiving the recycled cell phones and pre-paid cards.”

So if you have a cell phone or two at home that you no longer use, why not consider contributing it to the Phones for a Fresh Start program? It might help to clear out any clutter you may have at your place, and at the same time, you will be helping out the environment and your community!