recycle mobile phones

PhoneCycle is proud to provide a method for fostering the development and empowerment of people across the developing world using used mobile phones from Australian companies.

PhoneCycle strives to achieve best practice management of your used mobile phones. To achieve this we use the waste hierarchy as a foundation for our decisions. This means that we aim to reuse rather than recycle mobile phones. Reuse is the best environmental option but it also provides vital communications in developing countries.

These developing countries are now relying on their mobile phones for business and money transfers, staying in touch with family, healthcare initiatives and education.

Business and money transfers

Mobile phones are providing benefits to a range of businesses in developing countries. A report by the UN's Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) showed that over 80% of small businesses in Egypt and South Africa now rely on their mobile phones to run their small businesses.

According to the World Bank there are still three billion people that do not have access to financial services. Mobile phones are now bringing these people virtual bank accounts to send, receive and save money.

Prepay top-ups are used as a method of payment through phone-to-phone links rather than using bank cards.

Farmers can now use their mobile phones to find out the market prices for their crop so they receive better prices.

The Village Phone Programme in Bangladesh allows women to earn an income from renting mobile phones to other villagers.

Staying in touch and providing for family

Many workers in developing countries work far away from their families who live in rural areas. Mobile phones allow them to communicate regularly and transfer money home safely.

Mobile phones allow them to send the money directly to their family where they redeem cash from mobile airtime sellers. Before this they could have lost up to half of their earnings as they travelled home through checkpoints where they were bribed.

Healthcare Initiatives

The UN and Vodafone recently completed some research that looked into initiatives using mobile phones in healthcare in developing countries.

Examples of the initiatives included:

  • Sending mobile phone owners updates on diseases via SMS
  • Letting health workers in Uganda log data on mobile devices from the field
  • In Uganda, a multiple-choice quiz about HIV/AIDS was sent to 15,000 subscribers inviting them to answer questions and seek tests. Those who completed the quiz were given free airtime minutes. At the end of the quiz, a final SMS encouraged participants to go for voluntary testing. The number of people who did so increased from 1000 to 1400 over a 6-week period.
  • In Mexico, a medical hotline called MedicallHome lets patients send medical questions via SMS


The World Bank has identified the potential educational benefits mobile phone technology can provide in Africa through its eTransform Africa (education) project. They specifically identified affordable technologies, especially mobile devices and smart phones, for access to learning materials and collaboration platforms as a key area to study and develop.

Our Support

PhoneCycle continues to support the reuse of mobile phones in developing countries. If you would like to divert waste from landfill and further the empowerment and development of communities across the world then contact us today on (03) 9020 2988.

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