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Handset recycling

O2 Recycle (www.o2recycle.co.uk) is an online/postal service that lets people recycle old handsets responsibly in return for cash.

Run in partnership with Redeem plc, it supports phones, MP3 players, laptops, satellite navigation systems and digital cameras. Just five months after launch in October 2009 the scheme had paid out £1 million to customers. In 2010, we announced that all profits now go to our Think Big social projects for young people.

Returned phones are processed for re-use or recycling. Equipment is graded and sold on for second hand use.

The advent of high-value smart phones means that more handsets find their way back for re-use. Products that cannot be resold are stripped down to their component parts, which include precious metals. All waste residues are sent for responsible disposal or recycling.

In 2010, we collected 128,554 unwanted devices (2009: 191,345).