Did you know your used iPhone 6 can feed 100 refugees? This Earth Day, reduce your e-waste and save lives in the process. Dubai-based startup Melltoo, no-melltoo classifieds, has partnered with local startups Fetchr, Washmen and The Box to collect your used electronics for free. The devices will be reset, data wiped and sold for charity. Funds will go to Salma Aid, a Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid initiative that provides food relief for victims of humanitarian crises.
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
According to Morrad Irsane, cofounder of Melltoo: “Most of us in the UAE have mobile phones, laptops and TVs that we no longer use. They collect dust in a drawer or closet somewhere. Eventually, we throw them away. When we do this, not only do we contribute to the growing e-waste problem, we’re throwing away money that can be used to help people. We at Melltoo collect these electronics, we clean and reset them, then sell them to support refugees. We reduce the clutter in your lives and reduce the amount of e-waste produced, while helping people.”
As consumer electronics become indispensable tools in everyday lives, e-waste is a rapidly escalating problem. More than 45 million tons of e-waste are produced globally every year, the equivalent of 100 Burj Khalifa towers. The global average is 6.1 kg per person of e-waste a year. Compare that to the UAE average of 13.6kg of e-waste per resident in the Emirates.
UAE has “one of the world’s lowest life expectancy of electronics and high amounts of consumption, making the country produce substantial amounts of electronic waste annually”, according to an e-waste report by the United Nations University, UN information and communication technology agency, The International Telecommunication Union and the non-profit International Solid Waste Association,
While there are several initiatives to recycle e-waste in the UAE, Melltoo takes it one step further. The startup first attempts to sell devices that are in reasonable condition then recycles what cannot be sold through their partners. Sale proceeds go to support Salma Aid, a Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid initiative that provides food relief for victims of humanitarian crises.
On the occasion of Earth Day, the startup has partnered with Washmen, Fetchr and The Box to collect used electronics from UAE residents. For the week of Earth Day, from 22 – 28 April, they will collect consumer electronics like mobile phones and devices, laptops and computers, accessories, TVs, game consoles and the like. Customers of Washmen, an on-demand laundry service, can add a box of unwanted electronics along with their laundry pickup. Washmen collects everything and delivers them to The Box, a self-storage facility in Al Quoz that has donated storage space to store the electronics while they are being prepped for sale. In addition, Fetchr, a last-mile logistics company, will also do home pickups of used electronics for free. Melltoo, along with a team of student volunteers will clean and reset all devices and list them for sale.
“We are grateful to our partners, The Box, Washmen, Fetchr and our student volunteers for their generosity in supporting this Earth Day #Declutter4aCause initiative, in line with the Year of Zayed. The problems of e-waste and the refugee crisis are not problems that one entity or person can solve alone. It is through working together and getting everyone involved that we can really make a difference.” said Morrad Irsane of Melltoo.
So, don’t wait. This Earth Day, declutter your unwanted electronics, free up some space in your overflowing closets, save the planet and help people.
For more information and to get involved. http://uae.melltoo.com/donate