SaskTel recycling cellular devices to help women fleeing domestic violence

SaskTel launches its first-ever Phones for a Fresh Start cellular device recycling drive on Tuesday. File / Global News

SaskTel’s Phones for a Fresh Start program has reached a milestone, collecting over 100,000 cellular devices.

To celebrate, the Crown corporation launched its first-ever recycling drive Tuesday to encourage even more people in Saskatchewan to keep bringing in their unused devices.

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The year-round program has used the recycling proceeds to donate over $70,000 in phone cards and cellphones to the 21 Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) shelter agencies.

“The cellphones and phone cards from the Phones for a Fresh Start program have made a huge difference in the lives of so many women who have experienced intimate partner violence,” PATHS executive director Jo-Anne Dusel said in a press release.

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“They are valuable first and foremost for safety, but they do so much more than that for the women that receive them. It is their lifeline to friends and family, it allows them to look for housing or jobs.”

According to industry research, there could be 690,000 cellular devices stored away in Saskatchewan homes, yet only 10 per cent are recycled each year.

“As fantastic as this milestone is, we know there are still a lot more phones out there,” SaskTel’s acting president and CEO Doug Burnett said in a press release.

“I think that together with Saskatchewan’s help we have a chance to make an even bigger impact by increasing the number of cellphones we collect and helping PATHS even more.”

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Cellular devices can be dropped off at Phones for a Fresh Start donation bins located in any SaskTel store and participating authorized dealers.

The program has been working to divert cellphones from landfills since launching in June 2009.

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