Today, in celebration of Earth Month, SaskTel announced the launch of its second Phones for a Fresh Start cellphone drive. Managing to divert over 5,000 cellphones and their accessories from the landfill during its last edition, the drive seeks to do even better this year.
“Phones for a Fresh Start is an amazing program that has diverted more than 106,000 cellphones from our landfills,” said the Honourable Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “With more than 600,000 unwanted cellphones estimated to be stored in Saskatchewan homes alone, I’m hoping that this Earth Month everyone in Saskatchewan will make the effort to help keep our province green by taking this opportunity to get their unwanted phones recycled.”
Beginning April 19 and running through to April 30, SaskTel is encouraging anyone looking at getting rid of an unwanted cellphone to donate it to Phones for a Fresh Start by dropping it off at any SaskTel Store or Authorized Dealer. And, while the program accepts donations year-round, those donating during the drive will receive a complimentary Phones for a Fresh Start wrist band while supplies last.
“E-waste is a growing problem, and most people are holding onto two or more cellphones in storage,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel Acting President and CEO. “We know that finding a place to recycle specific items like cellphones can be hard for people so by launching this drive we’re trying to make it that much easier. The last thing we want to see is those phones somehow ending up in landfills.”
Partnering with recycler EDI Inc., SaskTel uses the proceeds generated from cellphones recycled through Phones for a Fresh Start to purchase pre-paid phone cards and new cellphones that are then distributed to those fleeing domestic violence through the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS).
To date, the program has provided PATHS with more than 2,800 cellphones and $71,000 in prepaid cards since its launch in 2009.