During the third environmental competition aimed at “saving” old mobile phones, pupils from kindergartens, primary and secondary schools managed to collect 26,642 mobile phones. Their effort has significantly contributed to the protection of the environment. The recycling of collected mobile phones will supply scarce materials, such as gold, lithium and cobalt, instead of their being extracted from nature.
The competition is held annually by the school recycling programme “Recyklohry” (Recycling Games) supported by Orange, which will grant €1,000 to each of the five schools which were the most active in implementing green projects. One of the prizes will also go to the Iliašovce Primary School, and will be used to create a functional natural space designed for pupils to grow plants. “We are a small school which wants to fulfil its goals and dreams of a beautiful environment surrounding our school. We want to instil a sense of relationship towards nature and nature-related works in pupils,” says Jana Topoliová, the programme coordinator, about the use of the granted prize. The 51 most skilful collectors will be awarded by Orange with tablets to thank them and to stimulate more environmentally-friendly behaviour. “Our commitment at Orange is to mitigate the environmental impacts of our business activities. This commitment has become a key priority for the company. But all of us can be more environmentally responsible. We are very pleased that even schoolchildren and students show interest in recycling, and the high number of collected old phones proves that they care about our planet,” confirmed Martin Hromkovič, Director of B2C Marketing and Branding at Orange.
258 schools from all over Slovakia showed that determination and perseverance are important when it comes to protecting the environment, as confirmed by the record number of collected mobile phones. Igor Bielich from the Veľký Meder Primary School, the coordinator of the Recyclohry programme, and his pupils participated for the first time. “The pupils enjoyed collecting old mobile phones. They admired the increasing number and a rich variety of mobile phones every day. Meanwhile, they considered what the mobile phones had been through, and guessed “the cause of their handover for the competition” – had they been accidentally dropped into water? Students identified and compared cracked displays and guessed which of the mobile phones had probably “died of old age”, as said by Bielich to describe pupils’ enthusiasm. He added: “Although our school did not win any of the prizes, two students were awarded with tablets”.
The competition helped to collect many old mobile phones left and forgotten in drawers. Moreover, their life cycle was completed for a good cause. “We are happy that we managed to achieve this result. This task gave the pupils an opportunity to learn and adopt the correct manner of electronic waste disposal, which is increasingly important for future generations,” said Ronald Blaho, Managing Director of ASEKOL SK, a Recyklohry (“Recycling Games”) organiser. Not all can become winners, however; other successful schools had the opportunity to compete for a visit to a theatre focused on the environment, cinema tickets or books. Hard-working teachers were awarded with 50-Euro gift vouchers. NGO Strom života (Tree of Life) also joined, and donated to teachers a subscription to the environmental magazine Stromáčik and the annual edition of the environmental magazine.