Motorola Mobility operates take back programs on our own and in partnership with carriers, customers, retailers and recyclers. We depend on the end user to participate in our recycling programs.
By law, we are required to take-back and recycle our products in 30 countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area. Our commitment goes beyond legislation and has worldwide reach. We offer programs for mobile phones in approximately 60 countries. Our take-back programs accept any mobile phone or accessory (not only our products). Some phones are refurbished for reuse and then sent to developing countries where they are sold at a low price, helping to boost access to communications.
In the U.S., we expanded our programs to include other devices such as cordless phones, modems and routers. Set-tops and modems can have extended lifespans if they are used by more than one customer. If a user upgrades to the latest model or cancels a subscription, the product is normally refurbished by Motorola Mobility or our customer and fitted with the latest software. It can then be leased to a new subscriber, extending the life of the set-top or modem by two to three years.
Our designers aim to extend the useful life of a set-top by considering:
FORWARD-LOOKING FEATURES: Including a rich set of features to meet current and future needs and aim to meet future standards
HIGHER QUALITY: Designing for reliability using higher-grade materials
UPGRADABILITY: Ensuring memory, storage, processors, software and network connections can be upgraded
SERVICEABILITY: Using modular design to enable parts to be replaced and ensure spare parts are readily available
We seek to design our products to be easily recycled. Many used phones are still in good condition and can be refurbished. Those that cannot be reused can be recycled, which reduces waste and the use of raw materials to make new phones. Our mobile phones meet or exceed the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive recyclability target of 65 percent.
Encouraging handset returns
The success of our mobile phone reuse and recycling program directly hinges on consumer participation. For this reason, we work to increase the number of people who recycle their mobile phones and accessories by:
- Providing prepaid postage labels on our website
- Holding electronics collection events at our facilities for employees and local communities
- Offering periodic incentives such as product discounts
- Participating with governments and other companies in take-back events and promotions
- Placing collection containers in our service centers
- Partnering with industry and communities in programs such as Mobile Muster in Australia, Green Box in China, Plug-In To eCycling in the U.S. and Recycle My Cell in Canada.
We feature a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol on our products and documentation. This symbol informs users that a product must not be disposed of in household waste, but recycled in accordance with the European Union WEEE Directive and other national legislation.
In 2011, we collected more than 230,000 accessories, batteries, handsets, modems or other hardware from customers, service centers and takeback programs.
CTIA Green working group
Motorola Mobility participates in the CTIA (international association for the wireless telecommunications industry) Green Working group, which is committed to improved sustainability and increased take-back and recycling. In 2011, the CTIA board adopted benchmarks for device take-back and product minimization drawn up by the Green Working Group. The principal commitments that apply to all members are:
- Provide a product take-back program for mobile phones and accessories
- Offer consumer education on product take-back and mail-back programs
- Agree to use third-party recyclers that comply with applicable state and federal electronic recycling laws
- Provide clear and easy-to-navigate online resources on product take-back programs
- Establish a common approach for measuring handset collection rates with a goal of increasing the collection of devices and electronic accessories either directly or indirectly by 20 percent by 2015
- Ensure that 90 percent of handsets launched annually comply with the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive
- Participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Plug-In To eCycling program
- Increase the percentage of device portfolio that includes recycled plastic in the phone housing to 25 percent by 2015.
Specialist companies process the equipment received through our take-back programs for reuse and recycling of parts and materials. We ensure that our recycling suppliers comply with all regulatory requirements for disposal of electronic equipment and follow our stringent EHS contractual requirements and industry standards. Like all suppliers, recyclers must abide by our supplier code of conduct.
We specify in contracts that waste electronic equipment must not be shipped to developing countries, to avoid the risk that it is processed in unsafe conditions. If we have concerns that equipment will not be handled correctly in the country where it is collected, we will ship it to an alternative location. Refurbished products may be resold in the developing world.
Our contractor reported that they received a total of 71,355 handsets from Motorola in 2011. Of those, 16,143 were suitable for refurbishment and were resold.
Motorola Mobility was delighted to receive an award from Carbonfund.org for our CarbonFree® products. Eric Carlson, president of Carbonfund.org commented, “Our new For Planet and People Awards highlight the extraordinary efforts of our partners, their employees, customers and stakeholders to be part of the solution to climate change. Each of our award recipients has embraced a different element of carbon reductions in their operations and sustainability goals."
In April 2011, Motorola Mobility received Verizon’s 2010 Supplier Recognition Award in the Green/Sustainability category. The award recognized our strategic focus and vision in the development of green set-tops,(Motorola QIP7232 and Motorola QIP7100), for Verizon FiOS service and of the world’s first CarbonFree certified smartphone, (Motorola CITRUS™), for Verizon Wireless.
The Motorola QIP7232 and Motorola QIP7100 are up to 30-percent more energy efficient than previous models. Powered by Android™ 2.1, the Motorola CITRUS is an entry-level smartphone for which Motorola offsets the lifetime carbon emissions. CITRUS is made from 25-percent post-consumer recycled plastic and is PVC- and BFR-free.