Practically everyone has an old mobile phone lying around the house. When it comes to businesses, many still don’t have an efficient process for recycling their large number of handsets.

However, one UK network wants to give these unwanted phones a new lease of life.

Three’s new scheme, called Reconnected, takes these devices and redistributes them to those who need them most.

The scheme donates phones to homeless people, domestic abuse victims and many other groups who don’t necessarily have easy access to the internet or a phone line.

£13 Billion

Research conducted by CompareMyMobile found that in the UK there was £13 billion worth of phones lingering in people’s homes in 2016.

The internet has become an indispensable tool that many of us take for granted. In June 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council even declared internet access to be a human right.

If you donate your phone to the Reconnected scheme, Three will update it to the latest software, make sure it can access the internet, and pair it with the relevant accessories, such as a charger and microUSB cable.

12Gb of Data, 300 Minutes, 3,000 Texts

The new user will then be given 12GB of data, 300 minutes and 3,000 texts to use each month for three months, while the phone is theirs to keep. Once the 90 days are up, if the person wants to continue using it they’ll have to pay for network access.

Not every recipient will be able to afford to maintain the network access, but Three is hoping that 90 days should give them enough time to reconnect with services and people they need to help them turn things around.

Internal Pilot

Three already trialled the scheme with an internal pilot, encouraging its employees to donate their old phones.

It received over 1,500 handsets and managed to donate 99 to people in need.

The hope is that, by opening the scheme to the public, Reconnected will receive newer phones. More modern devices will enable the scheme to be more effective, but Three will take any phone, even if it can’t connect to the internet.

If your phone isn’t suitable for the scheme, Three will recycle the parts instead of giving it away – and that means you can clear your drawers no matter how old or damaged your phone is.

Schemes like this are a great way to reuse old devices and reduce the growing issue of eWaste, whilst also helping those who need it.

You can find out more about the scheme on the Three website.

If you would like to talk to someone at Tier 1 about responsibly disposing or recycling your old computers then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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