Recycling WEEE regulations

Vodafone's communications equipment refurbish and reuse principles

The UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations

We're always happy to recycle the used mobile phones and other electrical equipment our customers return to us. Find out what we do with unwanted products - and how we meet our environmental responsibilities.

WEEE Regulations - a Vodafone guide to mobile communications equipment recycling [PDF 2.36MB]

How can you support Vodafone to protect our environment?

There's no doubt about how useful we find our technology devices. There are more mobile phones than people in the UK and increasingly we've come to rely on a whole range of communications equipment; demand only continues to grow. How can we make sure these go on being useful when we've finished with them?

What's expected of Vodafone?

The UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations place an environmental responsibility and a duty of care on the producers and distributors of electronic equipment. The regulations cover a range of household and business appliances including IT and telecommunications equipment, and oblige distributors to make sure there is a scheme in place to take back the equipment at the end of its life.

For Vodafone, that means products we sell to you:

  • mobile phones
  • routers
  • tablets
  • chargers; and
  • other electronic accessories.
What's expected of Vodafone?

How does our device recycling scheme work?

When you buy something new from Vodafone we can take back the old equipment that you are replacing on a one-for-one basis*. An adviser in store will be able to explain your options to you but our main aim is that all returned equipment will be refurbished and reused.

Like all electronic goods, communications equipment contains materials that, while harmless to start with, begin to degrade and pollute the environment if they end up in landfill. So our objective is to give equipment another useful lease of life, or to responsibly dispose of it. We also have designated battery take back boxes in store which are suitable for mobile phone batteries, power banks and household batteries.

For data protection purposes, we forensically wipe all devices returned to us. Our specialist partners then assess the equipment to see if it can be refurbished and reused. If the equipment is not suitable for reuse, the small amounts of precious metals - gold and silver - and base metals such as copper and iron are removed and go back into productive use.

Proceeds from equipment returned in-store are donated to The Vodafone Foundation which is a UK registered charity, investing in the communities in which we operate.

How does our device recycling scheme work?

Look out for the crossed through wheelie bin symbol

 You'll find this on all new communications equipment and on a range of other household and business appliances.

 It's there to remind us not to throw the product in the bin where it will end up in landfill and cause damage to the environment. If it can't be reused, please recycle it safely.

Terms and Conditions

Please note: Some providers may demand equipment back. Failure to return it to them may result in a charge.

Always check with your providers before disposing of equipment.