US-based ReCellular, an international collector, reseller and recycler of used wireless cell phones and accessories, has entered into a two-year partnership with Vivo, the leading mobile telecommunications service provider in Brazil with almost 30% of the cell phone market in the country.
The Portugal-based Vivo serves over 28.5 million consumers and its partnership with ReCellular tries to, as they say it, "safely and securely recycle retired cell phones to ensure environmentally-friendly disposal."
"ReCellular and Vivo are partnering in one of the largest handset recycling initiatives the wireless industry has ever seen," said Charles Newman, president and CEO of ReCellular, Inc.
"Vivo’s network is the largest in the southern hemisphere, which means there is the potential to properly recycle tens of millions of cell phones."
The launch of the recycling program is set to happen in early November in 58 stores in three major cities including 15 locations in Rio de Janeiro, 11 locations in Brasilia and 32 locations in São Paulo.
The complete partnership will expand to in-store collection at up to over 4,000 collection points throughout Brazil.
Keeping as many cell phones as possible from reaching Brazil’s landfills or polluting its environment is the main objective for the program.
Once the cell phones are received by ReCellular, they will be put through the Cell Phone Data Eraser program to erase all previous data stored on the phone prior to reuse. Funds generated from the program will go to local charities in the three participating cities.
For over fifteen years, ReCellular has been working with retailers, manufacturers, charitable groups and environmental organizations to create cell phone recycling solutions that benefit the public without impacting retailers in terms of cost or effort.
The company already collects thousands of cell phones at drop-off locations around the United States and Canada, and then reconditions the equipment for resale in developing markets where new equipment is often cost-prohibitive.