Recycling your old mobile phone in the UAE? There's an app for that

Published October 13th, 2015 - 01:00 GMT

Recycling your old digital devices is now just a touch away with the Dubai Municipality launching a mobile app that supports easy donation and overhaul of electronic devices.

The app called Taheel (refurbish in Arabic) is now available on Android and iOS applications.

With the slogan "your old device is gold for others," Taheel helps to access the municipality's Personal Computer Refurbishment Centre (PCRC) service now renamed as Digital Devices Refurbishment Centre (DCRC) from smartphones.

The services offered through the app include donating devices, requesting for used devices, technical training and support to establish a training lab using refurbished devices.

"This application enables community members and businesses to register donation requests and be aware of the available collection points and delivery options available," Head of the Centre Qasim Mohammed Rafi told Khaleej Times. On the other hand, he said, it also enables the authorised parties, who meet the requesting conditions, to request for these refurbished devices.

"Companies and others can send applications via the smartphone app. We will send a team to collect the donated items if they meet our criteria," said Rafi.

"If there is a big quantity of whole units of PC, say more than 25 complete units, we will send a team to collect them. For small quantities, we direct them to drop the used products at a nearby DM centre or to our office."

The contact details and locations of the PC Refurbishment Centre and Dubai Municipality centres where deliveries can be made are provided.

The interactive smart channel has been provided by the Dubai Municipality as a supportive step towards its efforts for environmental conservation and community service.

Reducing e-waste through charity

A website has also been created to support the initiative that is aimed at considerably reducing e-waste in Dubai through an environmental-friendly and charitable project.

The civic body has collaborated with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment and Microsoft for the PC refurbishment and donation project.

While Microsoft offers the technical support, the charity helps in distribution of these devices to people, mostly students, in need across the UAE and abroad.

The initiative is for individuals, institutions and the general public to generously donate second-hand, damaged or discarded computers to the centre.

The items, after the necessary repairs, will be donated to educational institutions, social and charity organisations.

About 55,000 devices including over 17,000 desktop computers and about 1,300 laptops were refurbished and donated to needy students since the inception of the centre in 2007 to 2014.

Another 10,000 devices including desktops, laptops, printers and scanners are being given for free to aid the students and other needy people this year.

More than 80 entities have listed themselves as bulk donors of electronic devices while the municipality has longer lists of establishments inside and outside the UAE as the recipients of these refurbished devices.

The municipality aims to popularise the app and the services of the centre during the Gitex Technology Week Exhibition.

The civic body will showcase the other mobile applications and e-services that its various departments are offering as well.

By Sajila Saseendran

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