ReCellular, a mobile phone recycler and refurbisher, is asking consumers to send the company their old phones as an additional way to aid survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Proceeds raised from the devices will be sent weekly to the American Red Cross Haitian relief effort, ReCellular says.
ReCellular is offering another way for Americans to contribute to rescue and
recovery efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The mobile phone refurbisher
announced Jan. 14 that the profits it makes on collected
phones, whether they can be resold or recycled, will be contributed to American
Red Cross efforts in Haiti.
devastation in Haiti
is slowly becoming all too clear," Steve Manning,
CEO of ReCellular, said in a statement.
"Sending in your used phone is a simple and effective way to help with the
rescue and rebuilding efforts already under way."
Shipping phones to ReCellular is free. Donors can download a prepaid shipping label
from the company's Website.
As for security, ReCellular said it wipes any personal data from the phones
before recycling. But it also provides a utility it calls the cell phone Data Eraser,
which walks consumers through a set of instructions specific to each device,
enabling them to personally clear their information from the phones before
ReCellular said it will give 100 percent of each phone's net value to the
Red Cross, and it hopes to raise millions of dollars.
Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular, told eWEEK that in general, newer
phones are preferred, but the company will accept whatever people send.
"It is important to point out that ReCellular is a recycling company,
so we encourage everyone to send in their phones regardless of age,"
Newman said. "But though we get literally thousands of different phone
models every month, only approximately 500 of them have reuse value, typically
those that are less than four years old. The Motorola Razr is currently the
most recycled model."
ReCellular's Haitian aid program will continue until further notice, Newman
said. The company is also working on a way to send some of the refurbished
phones to Haiti for people there to use, although plans for this project are
not complete, and ReCellular hopes to make an announcement about this project
in a few days, he said.
While the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have warned prospective
donors to act carefully to avoid being taken in by the fraudulent Haitian
disaster relief donation schemes that quickly set up shop after the Jan. 12
earthquake, Newman wanted to assure phone donors that ReCellular's business and
charity program are legitimate.
Newman said while he was unsure of whether ReCellular was accredited through
the Better Business Bureau, his company has been around since 1991 and has been
a recycling partner for charities and companies of all sizes, including
retailer Best Buy and the March of Dimes charity.
"We pride ourselves on our transparency," he told eWEEK. "You
can see our annual report (in spite of being a privately held company) at our Website
... and we invite the media
to come and see us and tour our plant." Newman said funds will be sent to
the Red Cross weekly, as the phones arrive.