Qtel Expands Environmental Efforts with New e-Waste Recycling Programme
With the launch of a new e-Waste Recycling Programme, Qtel today took a giant green step forward in their efforts to advance practices that protect our planet and people from environmental contaminants.
Currently, few options exist in Qatar for the "green" disposal of mobile phones and related materials that contain potentially hazardous and contaminating heavy metals. Qtel's new e-Waste Recycling Programme addresses this need by providing an immediate and convenient disposal and recycling service that will keep Qatar clear of communications contaminants.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and the Qatar National Campaign for the Recycling of Mobile Phones, Mobile Batteries and Accessories, all Qtel Shops throughout Qatar will now feature a corrugated drop box easily accessible to customers that serves as the designated drop-off site for e-waste items.
Adel Al Mutawa, Executive Director, Group Communications, Qtel, said: "Qtel aims to be at the forefront of corporate environmental leadership in Qatar. Care of the environment is one of the five pillars of "For Qatar, Hand in Hand," our comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme. In launching this programme, we aim to make a distinct contribution to the health and wellbeing of future generations, ensuring e-waste is safely removed from our community."
Disposing of a mobile phone is simple – all customers have to do is remove the SIM card and fill out their name and phone number on a special envelope, tearing off and keeping a numbered stub before placing the envelope in the drop box. Customers names will be entered into a monthly raffle drawing, with prizes including BlackBerry and other Smartphones and Qtel services.
Drop boxes are located in all Qtel Shops throughout Qatar.
Qtel is working with a recycling service, Enviroserve, which will make regular pick-ups of e-waste from the Qtel collection sites. The e-waste will be collected in 20-foot containers, and shipped to a facility in Singapore for systemic recycling as no facilities exist in Qatar for this purpose. To ensure data privacy, neither Qtel nor the recycling facility will resell donated mobiles. In the future, Qtel will launch monthly drop-off days for customers to dispose of larger items such as old TVs and computers at designated locations.
Taking the lead in Qatar regarding e-waste was the logical next move for Qtel, to help the environment and the health of the people of Qatar.
Qtel is encouraging green behaviour among its own employees by placing
drop boxes throughout their Qatar office spaces. This internal outreach complements the company's other green efforts, which include reducing the use of paper both internally and externally, paperless billing, and the introduction of biodegradable scratch cards.
Qtel was also the first to introduce eco-friendly transmission towers, powered by solar energy. The company built the first of these in 2006, and now has four.
Electronic-waste (e-waste) is refuse created by discarded electronic devices and components produced by households, businesses and governments. E-waste is the fastest growing part of the overall waste stream, and mobile devices are a growing component of this stream. Chemical substances in e-waste can cause harm to the environment, food and human health.