My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel Foundation swap cellphones for Tablets for Autistic Children - How Cellphone Recycling makes money as we drown in Electronic Waste and Noise

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Digicel Foundation swap cellphones for Tablets for Autistic Children - How Cellphone Recycling makes money as we drown in Electronic Waste and Noise

Telecoms Providers may not be in the business of Recycling on a level similar to the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) JA$200 million Recycle Now Jamaica Project to Recycle PETE as described in my blog article entitled “GOJ launches JA$200 million Recycle Now Jamaica Project to Recycle PETE Plastic Waste - JEEP finally get self-sustaining Engine in small Step towards Telecom Providers Recycling Electronic Waste”.

But they seem to like doing it for marketing or philanthropic purposes. Telecom Provider Digicel has decided to do just that, with an initiative launched by their Digicel Foundation to recycle cellphones as described in “Telecoms company launches phones for tablets programme”, Published Friday June 20, 2014 9:09 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Digicel Foundation in collaboration with the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities has decided to collect unused cellphones from members of the Disable community. In exchange, the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities will be given Tablets, Keyboard cases and Mouses.

This is in a manner similar to their partnership with CSTS (Cyber School Technology Solutions) to giveaway eight hundred (800) Huawei Media Pads 7 Lite with CSEC (Common Secondary Education Curriculum) to High Schools across Jamaica as described in my blog article entitled “Digicel partners with Cyber School Technology Solutions to provide 800 Tablets with CSEC Tutorial - Corporate Spirit spreading to help Schools get Tablets”.

Albeit just a swap-for-swap, Autism Ireland is involved, suggesting that this may in fact be related to this particular disability, that of course being Autism. The aim is clearly to assist children that are autistic to relate to their world and computers are particularly good at that. Mobile Computers such as Tablets and smartphones that can be taken home means that they'll be supervised by their caregivers at home, albeit I'm not really sure how exactly this improves Social Skills.

Then again, the logic may be that in much the same way smartphones and Tablets make non-autistic people anti-social, the reverse may be true for autistic suffers, whose very nature makes them easily distracted and less focused.

Tablets and smartphones, like any typical Data users, will keep them still long enough in public places with it assortment of games and learning puzzles, once you've made sure to lock down the Tablet of course as described in my blog article entitled “How to Lock down your Child’s Tablet or smartphone and Apps to Block, Protect and Notify you of your Child’s whereabouts Online - Defense Against the Dark Arts”.

Recycling Cell phone Waste – Necessary as we’re drowning in Electronic Waste and Electronic Noise

Philanthropic reasons aside, what really interests me is what happens to the cellphones after Telecom Provider Digicel has collected them. Most likely collected and sorted by category, they’ll no doubt be some book keeping with their IMEI (International Mobile Equiptment Number) being recorded.

Any Digicel or LIME SIM (Subscriber Identification Modules) that their Staff come across will be most likely scrapped and their IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Number) be sent up to the GSMA. A request will then be made to re-use them in making new SIM Cards as per the Prepaid Cycle as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Prepaid Cycle and How Prepaid Credit gives your SIM Card access to the Prepaid Network”.

The phones are the sent abroad to a Reprocessing Plant where the cellphones are assessed based on their physical condition.

If they are working, they are then refurbished and repackaged for resale in other markets, usually in the Developing World, a lucrative business for phone manufacturers as explained in my blog article entitled “How to unlock any phone and put it on any Network - Guaranteed to unlock any Feature or Smartphone on the Chennai Express”.

If, however, they’re not working, then they’re scrapped for their working parts, which are sold as replacement parts to third party phone manufacturers. Finally, if they’re completely unusable, then the phone is stripped of its plastic and Vacuum Pyrolysis is used to decompose the phone in a manner similar the description given in my blog article entitled “How to upgrade your Solar Desalinator to a Solar Cooker and make a Solar Foundry for Vacuum Pyrolysis”.

Then using metallurgical extraction techniques specifically targeted at Rare Earth Metals similar to those described in my blog article entitled “Rare Earth Metal Pilot Plant at Jamaica Bauxite Institute to test Rare Earth Extraction Process - Nippon Light Metal Company Limited keen to beat China using Red Mud from Bauxite Companies”. With values as high as US$3500 per Kilogram, extracting Rare Earth Metals is very lucrative for the Reprocessing Plant as well as the Telecom Provider, in this case Digicel.

Telecom Providers needs to Collect smartphones – New Regulator to impose mandatory Recycling

So albeit this is a philanthropic venture by the Digicel Foundation, it’s also a serious money-making venture all in the good name of helping Autistic Children. I’ve no grouse with this; my main complaint is that Telecom Provider LIME hasn’t jumped on this initiative in much the same way they had done with Tablets as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel both make Donations of Tablets to Preparatory and Primary Schools - How Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark started a Love for Computer Programming Languages in Jamaica”.

After all, it’s the right thing to do. Recycling also helps to remove any extra Rare Earth Metals out of the environment that can possibly contaminate ground water and result in Birth Defects and a whole array of Health conditions, one possibly being Autism! By recycling cellphones, Telecom Providers would be turning full circle and thus be responsible corporate citizens long before a Telecoms Regulator comes on stream to tell them to do what’s right for the society.

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