Attero Recycling: Targeting 2 million customers for mobile take-back initiative


The shelf-life of a phone today is barely 18 months,
after which most phones are discarded, contributing to tons of e-waste in the
country. Attero Recycling launched the fist-ever organized mobile take-back
service through their website. Rohan
Gupta, COO, Attero Recyling
tells us how they recycle telecom waste from
top operators as well.


How did you come up with the idea of the
mobile take-back service?


We are pioneers of electrical waste management in India,
and last year more than 100 million cell phones sold in India were later
discarded in the unorganized sector. This made us think about a plan which
would not only effectively dispose of all the used cell phones, but also
provide an incentive to the customer by giving them a best price option –
better than they usually get for their phones or giving them the option of
vouchers from our ‘Green partners’ like Ferns n Petals, United Colours of
Benetton, Costa Coffee and more. Alternatively they can also opt to plant a
tree in their name. Since a customer is now given this unique option, just by
logging onto our website, we think it will create huge awareness and curb cell
phone e-waste.  


How have you planned the logistics for this


It took us three years from our start of operations in
2008 to build a cross-country logistics team. Now that we are ready with the
same, we have personnel who go from door-to-door across India, right up to
Jammu and Kashmir to collect the discarded phones. We have also tied up with
some logistics partners for packing and shipping of the phones, while the
actual recycling process is being handled by us. We may tie up with OEM’s in
the future for the same arrangement.


What is the kind of feedback that you are
expecting from your partners and subscribers for this initiative?


We have got positive feedback from partners and many players
are now coming forward to tie-up for this initiative. While we are hoping for a
huge subscriber turnout that will more than adequately compensate our
investment in this operation, we are aiming for a target of at least 2 million
customers in the first year to participate in this initiative.


Have you tied up with any Indian operators
for recycling telecom equipment?


Last year, we recycled more than 200,000-odd phones. We
also do waste management for telecom equipment, and we have a separate programme
for corporate and operators. Some of our key partners are BSNL, TTSL, Vodafone,
and Airtel, and we recycle all their telecom waste. Although some operators
were recently criticized for not complying with carbon emission requirements,
from next year, the government will enforce a rule for all operators to recycle
their telecom waste. We will continue creating awareness till then.  


By Beryl M

[email protected]