Phone recycling companies to check for stolen handsets

August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Recycling your mobile phone when you want to get your hands on the latest model is a great idea. However, it’s now become so easy to benefit financially from the practice that mobile-phone recycling firms have had to admit to the problem of mobile-phone thieves taking advantage of the service.

About 100,000 stolen handsets are sent to recycling firms every year according to estimates, worth a combined value of £4 million.

The problem is that even if mobile handsets are blocked from UK networks after they have been reported as stolen, they can still be used overseas where many of the recycled handsets end up.

It seems the ability to get easy money with no questions asked has proved too easy for thieves: until now, that is.

Mobile-phone recycling companies have just signed up to a new code of conduct to reduce the number of stolen mobile phones being recycled.

From now on companies will check the phones they receive against the National Mobile Phone Register. If they find any stolen phones they will report them to police. The register is formed of three separate databases which should provide a good level of protection.

Over 15 firms have signed up to the code of conduct at the time of writing, making up 90% of the industry.

Charlo Carabott, the managing director of Mazuma Mobile, is quoted by the BBC, admitting that the high prices it was offering for old mobiles “could encourage people to go out and steal handsets,” and although the company had taken its own precautions from the beginning, this was an important milestone as the first “industry-wide standard”.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Plastic recycling expansion

August 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm

The North East of England’s largest independent waste management firm, Premier Waste, has announced a new hard plastics recycling service designed to combat the amount of plastic waste being sent to landfill sites in the UK.

With many summer products destined for landfill sites, Premier Waste’s timing should ensure that plastic recycling rates increase, with drop off points installed at nine of their Household Waste Recycling Centres in County Durham. The decision to offer local residents the opportunity to recycle all non-electrical hard plastic products is part of a wider initiative to increase recycling rates in County Durham and the UK.

The plastic collected will be used by manufacturers to make everyday items such as carrier bags, drain pipes, garden furniture, fleece jackets and sleeping bags, helping to reduce the estimated 3 million tonnes of plastic waste generated annually in the UK.

With plastic production currently using 8% of the world’s oil, it is clear that current practice is unsustainable, since oil is a non-renewable energy source that is rapidly being depleted. An increase in plastic recycling will make it easier for the UK to continue to enjoy many of its summer products made from plastic, with new items being manufactured from unwanted goods, and will also help the UK government to reach its current recycling targets.

If the scheme is successful at boosting recycling figures across County Durham, it is envisaged that the service will be expanded to include other parts of the North East of England as the UK continues its drive to increase recycling levels nationwide.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

South Oxfordshire top of the league for recycling

August 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

South Oxfordshire district council has claimed that last year it recycled or composted 73% of the household waste collected. This announcement comes a year after the introduction of an expanded collection scheme that has led to the inclusion of food waste composting. If confirmed by the UK government, this figure would put the district top of the league for recycling rates in England.

Between June 2009 and early June 2010, South Oxfordshire District Council’s municipal services contractor, Verdant, was able to collect a total of 18,531 tonnes of dry recycling, 6,115 tonnes of food waste, and 7,434 tonnes of garden waste. When added to the collections from the district’s recycling banks, this brought the area’s overall recycling and composting to 32,621 tonnes, compared to only 11,739 tonnes of waste sent to landfill sites in that same period.

This stunning achievement is reported to have saved around £350,000 of taxpayers’ money annually, whilst also generating up to £850,000 in recycling credits. This has been achieved despite an expansion of services provided by the council, demonstrating that expanding recycling services can help councils to cut costs as they look to reduce their expenditure and seek new revenue sources.

Despite the success of the scheme, the scenario could have looked very different. When the recycling service was changed last year, 1,000 homes were left without bins as the collections started. Shockingly, these teething problems were attributed to the fact that many of the individuals hired by contractors to issue the bins were unable to read addresses or use maps.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »