Clover Wireless operates take-back programs on our own and in partnership with carriers, customers, retailers and recyclers.
We support the concept of individual producer responsibility. For us to meet our own responsibilities, we need others, such as consumers and retailers, to return obsolete electronics equipment for responsible recycling. Electronic equipment can pose a threat to the environment if disposed of incorrectly.
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 70 countries, covering more than 90 percent of our global mobile phone unit sales. 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 have expanded our programs to include other devices such as cordless phones, modems and routers. Set-tops and modems have extended lifecycles as they can be used by more than one customer. If a user upgrades to the latest model or cancels a subscription, the product is normally refurbished by Clover Wireless 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 the following four areas:
- Forward-looking features: Include a rich set of features to meet current and future needs and aim to meet future standards
- Higher quality: Design for reliability using higher-grade materials
- Upgradability: Ensure memory, storage, processors, software and network connections can be upgraded
- Serviceability: Use 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:
- Enclosing prepaid return envelopes with new products
- 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.