Launching with the help of Good360, a not-for-profit that connects goods with those who need them most, Optus will start distributing previously loved phones to people going without in an effort to bridge the digital divide.
Donate Your Device smartphones will be coupled to a Donate Your Data SIM, which comes with unlimited calls and SMS on a prepaid plan. The Donate Your Data program saw massive success, with Optus saying it has helped over 25,000 Australians get connected.
“We believe all Australians should be able to stay connected. By working with Good360, we are enacting real change in our communities,” says Matt Williams, the managing director of marketing and revenue at Optus.
“Optus is proud to be working with our customers to enable Australians in need to power their potential by providing them with the essentials required to thrive in a digital world.”
Here’s how it works. All you need to do is bring your second-hand phone into an Optus store and notify a team member working there. From here, the phone will be wiped of any data and cleaned. Optus will then take the phone and add it to the Donate Your Device program, sending it off to someone who needs it. At the moment, you won’t be able to mail in your second hand phone, so for now you’ll need to take it to your local store.
It’s a simple system, a nice gesture and a great thing to do, especially if you have a phone or two lying around gathering dust or stuffed in a box somewhere. Optus won’t pay you for your previously owned device, but it’ll go on to be used by somebody who needs it.
Considering how much e-waste is created every year, it’s also a great way to make sure your old phone doesn’t go into landfill. Consuming less is always better for the environment than consuming more.
“The digital divide is a huge barrier for many Australians leaving them vulnerable and isolated, missing out on many opportunities, as well as vital personal connections,” said Alison Covington, the founder and managing director of Good360.
“The Donate Your Device program will help provide equality and dignity for many people in need.”
How else can I donate my old device?
Optus’ Donate Your Device program isn’t the only one of its kind. Several not-for-profits in Australia, including Shine For Kids, the Sanctuary Australia Foundation and the Asylum Seekers Centre specialise in distributing previously owned devices to those in need. There are also other ways to recycle your old tech in Australia.
It might be an easy thing to shrug of, especially given how cheap technology has become over the past 10 years, including laptops and smartphones. However, these bits of technology are still fairly out of reach for some people who could really use them, like those in school, those trying to find work or those just trying to stay in touch with family.
Donate Your Device is live now in Optus stores across Australia.