Donate an old mobile phone – such a simple act that can help so much

The Starship Mobile Phone Appeal is one those rare win-win situations, and the Hurunui District Council is pleased to be able to help the cause by providing several sites throughout the district where you can leave your old phones, and we will make sure they get to the right place to make a difference.

The donation of an unwanted old mobile phone has a positive flow-on effect for our environment, both locally and internationally; for the children and parents who use Starship children’s hospital; and for people in emerging markets whose lives are improved by all the services that they can access with a low cost mobile phone.

Swapkit NZ Ltd, together with its charitable partner The Starship Foundation, provide many ways that New Zealand consumers and businesses can pass on unwanted mobile phones for reuse or recycling. Where the handsets cannot be reused, the Appeal provides environmentally responsible recycling that recovers well over 95% of component materials that can then be used for other products. Under the RE:MOBILE brand the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal is the first e-waste recycling programme in the country to achieve Government Accreditation.

When you consider the scale of the Appeal, it’s clear that the positive environmental impacts are significant. Since launching 2009, the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal has recycled a whopping 35 tonnes of end of life phones and accessories. Without the Appeal, we believe a much higher number of old mobiles, batteries and accessories would have ended up in New Zealand landfills. The Appeal helps to keep our landfills free of an array of hazardous toxic substances that could seep out into the environment contaminating land, water and air.

The positive environmental impacts go further. Since the launch 5 years ago they have refurbished over 900,000 mobile phone handsets which have then been sold into other markets. These refurbished and reused handsets can help change lives. The provision of low cost mobiles in emerging markets is often the only way that people can access telecommunications for the first time, and thus benefit from all the services, like financial, health and information services.

Finally, the sale of these handsets helps Kiwi kids. To date over $2.3 million dollars has been donated to The Starship Foundation from the sale of old mobile phones. This money is used to help fund the Starship National Air Ambulance Service. This essential service flies top medical experts to life threatening emergencies anywhere in New Zealand and is on call 24/7, 365 days per year.

That’s three good reasons to search your cupboards, sideboards, drawers for old mobile phones. Also let friends & family know if they too have phones that they would like to donate that they are able to drop them to our library-service centres and transfer stations. It’s such a small act that can do so much good.

For further information or questions about the appeal please visit or ph: 09 377475