Kingston Council is relaunching the Mobile Mop Up recycling scheme to raise money for local charities.
Residents are being asked to donate old mobile phones, mobile accessories, cables, laptops and tablets. Profits from the drive will go to the Mayor’s Charitable Trust, which supports the Milaap Multicultural Day Centre and Anstee Bridge.
The Milaap Centre provides free meals, activities and other services to elderly people in Kingston and the surrounding boroughs. Anstee Bridge, which is part of Achieving for Children Education Services, supports young people facing emotional and mental health challenges.
Anstee Bridge Coordinator Katherine Greening said: “We have seen an increase in referrals to Anstee Bridge each year and the pandemic has exacerbated this, and therefore the work we do has never been more important than it is now.”
Greening said that any funding from the Mobile Mop Up project “will help Anstee Bridge in so many ways”. The charity’s plans for 2022 include workshops, trips and a new transition programme for Year 6 students, “so there is a great deal of magical and creative work we can do moving forward with any funding we receive”.
Residents can donate their devices by post, or in person at one of several collection points. These include Tony’s Fruit Stall in the Ancient Market Square, Kingston, and Sunray Recycle Sheds in Tolworth.
The devices will be handled by Surbiton-based company Genuine Solutions, which specialises in recycling mobile technology and other electronic waste.
The borough’s mayor, councillor Sushila Abraham, said: “What we need to do is reduce the impact of wasteful mobile technology, because it has no place in our planet.”
Abraham reaffirmed the council’s commitment to keeping the borough eco-friendly, saying: “The environment, the green economy, efficiency in the home, travel, buildings – we’re all focusing on that.
“We’re planting trees, creating a greener, healthier era; making streets quieter, safer; homes warmer; green jobs, green spaces; making biodiversity happen is important, too.”
After the devices have been collected, any data will be deleted. Some will be stripped for parts, while those in good condition will be cleaned and recycled as new devices.
Abraham said that the recycled, refurbished devices will then be distributed among various charities in the borough. She said: “There are many homes and elderly people who don’t have computers or laptops, iPads or mobile phones.
“It’s not just getting funds for the charities, it’s also giving back to the borough and other charities gaining from it.”
The mayor has led efforts to expand the scheme, with local businesses and the council also being encouraged to donate. The project is also accepting other devices besides mobile phones for the first time this year.
Greening, who founded Anstee Bridge in 2008, said: “It was an enormous honour being asked to be part of The Mayor’s Charitable Trust and it is extremely exciting. The main benefit is the connections within the community.
“We are definitely becoming more known in the local area and the offer of any support is greatly appreciated.”
Businesses wishing to donate old equipment should email davide.R@genuinesolutions.co.uk to arrange collections, while anyone looking for more information should contact Councillor Abraham or the Mayor’s Office.
The council will be accepting donations until early May 2022.