From cell phone return programs to cable disposal, Deutsche Telekom is committed to environmentally friendly recycling. This helps conserve and reuse valuable resources.
All companies throughout the Telekom Group support the responsible handling of natural resources. Avoiding waste is a high priority: we were able to reduce the quantity of waste produced in Germany by five percent in 2011. If the accrual of waste cannot be avoided, we at least try to utilize it wherever possible.
Recycling cell phones conserves resources
There are currently around 70 million old cell phones in Germany alone that are not being used. They contain valuable raw materials such as gold, silver, palladium, copper, aluminum, tin and coltan, as well as pollutants. To prevent them from ending up at the dump, Telekom offers to take back cell phones, rechargeable batteries and battery chargers at all its national companies.
With great success: around 762,000 cell phones were collected and recycled in Germany alone in 2011. We donated a portion of the revenues to non-profit organizations such as German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe).
Telekom‘s international subsidiaries also support the correct recycling of old cell phones. T-Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia, for example, has already collected over 100,000 phones and batteries.
Cables are buried treasures
Recycling plays a vital role, even when it comes to renewing networks. As a result of the changeover to the high-performance fiber optic network, large quantities of copper cables are being dug up throughout Germany. Nearly 11,000 metric tons of copper cables were dug up in 2011 alone, enabling the recovery of around 6,600 metric tons of copper and some 1,100 metric tons of lead.
To ensure that disposal is environmentally sound, certified disposal companies are charged with dismantling the cables. Additional checks verify compliance with the high environmental standards along the entire process.