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Recycling firm promises cash for cellphones

Zonzoo, which recycled nearly two million handsets last year across Europe, has now launched operations in the Middle East

Zonzoo promises to pay cash for old mobile phones, which will then be sold in developing nations.
Zonzoo promises to pay cash for old mobile phones, which will then be sold in developing nations.

European phone recycling company Zonzoo has just entered the Middle Eastern market through a joint venture with Enviroserve, the region's only government-endorsed e-scrap recycling and management firm.

The 50/50 joint venture between the two companies offers a ‘cash for phones' promise, mirroring a similar recycling initiative by Emax announced a couple of months ago.

It's the latest green effort to tackle e-waste, which is considered to be a serious problem in the region.

Customers can log on to the Zonzoo.me website, which details the cash amounts offered for different cellphone models, and initiate the trade online. An Aramex courier agent will then be dispatched to collect the used mobile and, within days, Zonzoo will give the customer the agreed cash value for the mobile phone only if it is in working condition. This can include credit to an Etisalat mobile phone account, payment to a bank account or a Western Union transfer.

Zonzoo will sell working mobile phones to developing countries in Africa, South America, Asia and India. Phones that don't make the cut go through a refining process to extract gold, silver and other materials which are sold for use in new products.

In addition to paying consumers the value of their phone, Zonzoo will also donate 2% of the phone's value to the charities Senses and Gulf For Good .

Zonzoo managed to recycle nearly two million mobile phones last year and has a goal of tripling that figure in 2010 from its operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Portugal and Austria and now from the Middle East as well.