Cell Phone Recycle - Christine, Diana

1. "Cell Phone Recycling Program" Christine & Diana

•1.1. What

1.1. What

The objective of this project is to create a user friendly recyclable cell phone service for students participating in IES Barcelona Abroad. Instead of having to go through the tedious process of purchasing brand new phones (activation fees, language set-up, international set-up), students can select from a variety of used phones to use when they are abroad in Barcelona. From an interface perspective, the sustainability club website can be used listing the phones available in the Inventory. Then students who wish to participate in the program can be invited through their university emails, thereby reserving the service to abroad IES students.

1.1.1. Similar actions from previous semesters

Last year’s project “Phone Recycling Project” proposes a similar action to the one being presented in this program. The main difference is the sustainability club website will be used to describe the phones available and the drop off for phone collection will be more accessible. Through this project, I realized the extensive work that must be done by the staff in the IES abroad program. Therefore, when creating the website, actions must be enacted to make the interface extremely streamlined in terms of payment and documentation. This means that the staff will have less work, which consequently means that there will be fewer mistakes too. In addition, computerized documentation will also help maintain the project for future years.

1.1.2. SWOT Analysis


• No confusion regarding cell phone set up
• Sustainability club website already in action
• Financial benefits
• Easy organization


• Requires cooperation from students
• Won't work if phones aren't returned
• Need someone to ensure the program is running properly
• Who can be trusted to determine value of phones


• More chance to use the sustainability club website
• Reusing phones to save the resources
• Help students in saving money


• Lack of cooperation from students
• Potential damages to phones before returned

1.1.3. Feedback loops

In ideal circumstances the program would result in a balancing loop, which means that over time a different conclusion will result from the original goal. The program will begin with an initial influx of different phones, which will be funded by a start-up fee. The original phone would cost about 75% of what the original price was. As the Phone Recycling program grows, the repetitive use of phones will lead to a greater influx of cash that exceeds the initial cost of the phones. This will lead to more advanced phones being purchased, and can allow the phones to be relatively up to date from year to year. Eventually, if the program saves enough money from the phones, the funds will be capable of funding another environmentally conscious program. Therefore, the program if successful will help save money, and waste by recycling phones, while also creating a steady flow of cash for other endeavors.

1.1.4. Advertising

There will be a clear advertising process for the Phone Recycling program, which will assure that the program will get its necessary attention, without utilizing unnecessary resources. First, in the beginning of the IES Barcelona program, students will receive notifications in their student email regarding the program. They will also be led to information when signing up for housing which assures that students will be able to familiarize themselves with the program. Furthermore, the information will link them to a website/catalog which will tell them the cost of renting different types of phones. Some have basic features such as calling, others will include a keyboard, and the last bunch will have data capabilities. There will be varying prices for rental based on the capabilities of the phone, and also students will have to pay varying deposits based on the capabilities of the phone. Then, prior to the end of the semester when students are finished with their finals, they will receive a notification to return their phones. Upon returning the phones student will receive their deposits back. I believe that reserving the advertising to emailing is the most efficient, as it will provide a direct link to the catalog and website, along with the fact that is prevents waste. Not only will be there no waste of paper, but also of money and therefore money saved from advertising can be utilized for a wide variety of additional purposes. Furthermore, in terms of financials a staff member will handle the costs, initially recording the payments on a spreadsheet of some sort. Eventually, as the program grows and gathers more money the cataloguing can be based on a barcode system with computerized scanning and documentation. Lastly, students will only be able to pay with credit or debit cards to assure a documentation of all the money, and furthermore the financials will be billed to their University account, which once again assures proper documentation.

E-mail template:

Dear students,
This goal of this message is to inform you of an alternative program which will offer you a rental phone during your time here in Barcelona. IES is offering students a wide range of phones which have set minutes, messages, and possible data capabilities depending on your preference. This program will promise to be a much cheaper alternative than purchasing a brand new phone within Barcelona. You will be allowed to keep the phone from the start of the semester to the end of the semester. This program will not only you students to save money, but it will also help reduce pay as your go cell phone waste or the hassle of reselling more advanced phones. Furthermore, as more students participate in the program, more money will be raised and saved. This money can be used for additional environmental efforts. Therefore, we strongly urge you students to research and consider our Phone Recycling project as it will help the student body in the short run and the environment in the long run.
IES Abroad


• Reduced waste in cheap, rental cell phones
• Economically friendly
• Reduced impact on the environment.
• Cradle to cradle design
• Website usage

1.2.1. Potential Benefits

There are a wide variety of benefits from this program. First, students will save a significant amount of money by renting phones, rather than buying a new one. In addition, since less cell phone will be bough, less waste will be created by students who no longer have use for their phones. Lastly, as revenue grows from the renting of phones, the program can expand in terms of buying different types of phones along with having excess money for new start up projects.

1.2.2. Potential Costs

There will be no cost to run the website because we will be using the sustainability club website. There will be no initial cost for the program to collect phones, other than an initiative for students to donate their phones at the end of the semester. This initiative may be pizza when the student drops it off, or an extra drink at the fairwell party. The student who intends to purchase the phone for rent will pay IES the cost, and then the initiative to give the phone back will be given back a deposit of 15 euro or so. Furthermore, someone will be needed to be paid, or at least given an initiative, in order to deem the value of the phones, along with someone to then set up the website. Lastly, if the phones are lost by students, the phones will not be able to be used in later years, which would make it difficult to continue the program.

1.3. HOW

I believe that if the IES program would be willing to take a risk in terms of initial investment. IES would provide money to buy enough phones for about ¾ of the student body. A quick survey will be implemented within the IES student body to determine what type of phones the program should focus on purchasing. The phones will all come from the same company so money can potentially be saved since they are being bought in bulk. The survey will also indicate the quantity of phones that will need to be bought, and therefore assure that excess phones will not be purchased and go to waste. Upon being linked to the catalogue, students can select which model phone they like and they will record the model number. Then they will approach a staff member who will be working for a week as the program is starting. Then the students will pay using a debit or credit card, and will receive the phone that they wish. Furthermore, they will pay for as much data/messages/minutes that they think they will need per month. Then, students will be notified twice that they must return the phones. The first will be a week before the program ends, telling students that they can return the phones and receive their deposit back during the three days before the program ends. Then, three days before the program, students will receive a similarly worded email. Then, the IES program will evaluate the profit made from the program and determine whether or not they want to continue next year, along with possible expansion ideas. Some expansion ideas would be to made an electronic catalog system along with expanding the amount of cell phones available to the students.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Many IES Abroad Students plan on using a phone when they are in Barcelona, and therefore they will likely pursue the most efficient (financially and time-wise) method to get their phone. If the Phone Recycling program does not exist, then students will be forced to buy brand new phones in Barcelona that have activation costs, and then will proceed to discard them by the end of the year. Through this program, however, students will be able to constantly re-use phones and therefore prevent excess waste of money and phones. Therefore, we have created a cradle - to - cradle design, where the main issues stem from students no longer wanting to participate in the program, thereby resulting in an excess of phones. Also in this design is by using the sustainability club website. The addition of the available cell phones will shed more knowledge on the site itself and there will be no extra cost for using it.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

1. Do you plan to use your European cell phone after leaving Barcelona?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Other
2. Would you be willing to drop off your European cell phone at IES before going home?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Other
3. Would you rather have a used phone from a past student or buy your own new one?
a. Yes
b. No

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Based on the survey it seems like not many people plan on using a European phone after they leave, and therefore they would be more inclined to utilize a rental. Furthermore, it also seems that people have no problem using a used phone, and also donating extra European phones that they might have. Therefore, it seems extremely likely that the program could work from a logical standpoint.

1.3.4. Incentives

There are many incentives for enacting the Phone Recycling Program. For example, students will be able to save money and help the environment by renting phones. In addition, there is also significant revenue that can be gained from this program, which can be used to advance the project along with fund other sustainability projects. Stuednts will be rewarded for their contributions by getting back a deposit on the phone once they return it.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

The only relationship with the Sustainability club is through the Inventory section of their website.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

The project should be relatively self-sustainable as the concept of phones is to be rented and reused. Phone will be labeled with model numbers, which will then be recorded if a student chooses to rent a phone. Once the students return the phones, the phones will then be stored and catalogued. Before the week of the next IES program, phones will be checked for damages and functioning ability by staff members. Then the same process will continue for the years going forward, and as more money is being made, more phones can be purchased and more advanced means of cataloguing will be possible. Furthermore, the website must be monitored and maintained by a professional, who is capable of updating new or lost inventory, along with changing prices based on economic changes. In past semesters, this has not worked because students were not returning their phones to IES before leaving. But with this program, students will have more of an incentive to return their phones, and hopefully that will be enough.

1.3.7. Who will do what

Students: buy phones online, pick up phones at IES on the first floor office when checking in, leave phones at IES at the end of the semester with their RA's or at IES.
Staff member(s): label phones with model numbers at the end of the semester, notify website administrator / creator of number and models of phones, pay students who return their phones at the end of the semester, hand out phones at the beginning of the semester, send out e-mail reminders to students about the program.
Website administrator / creator: create / update website with models and number of phones available, forward list of students who have bought phones (model specific) to IES.

1.3.8. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

Our program does not reserve phones to just pay-as-you go and provides a variety of phones available at different costs. This lends the program to possible areas of expansion in terms of quality and quantity of phones. Furthermore, the website would be isolated from the housing contract, as it would be able to become much more integrated.

Previous semester program:
Phone Recycling Program (Chris Waller)

1.3.9. Document format

The website will utilize free and open-source software (FLOSS) as it is free along with internationally recognized. Furthermore, we would advocate utilizing .odt files over msword files because once again they are internationally recognizable. We will be using the sustainability club website.

1.3.10. Copyright license of your report

Attribution-Commercial-ShareAlike: This allows others to view, share and add on to this work as long as I am given credit for the original work. This is a very open copyright which gives others the freedom to build upon my work which will hopefully advance the Cell Phone Recycling program.


Middle of October- Students will be surveyed regarding their phone preferences and what percentage would be interested in being part of such a program.
Week Prior to end of Semester in December: IES abroad program will collect phones with different capabilities.
Early January: Phones will be documented using model numbers and will be inputted into inventory on the sustainability club website, which will list the quantity and types of phone available. They will then be held until students in the following semester need them.
Mid-January – Spring students will be directed to the website which has the catalogue of phones. Then they will determine the type of phone they are interested in. Students will indicate that they want the phone by emailing a staff member with the model number that they are interested in. It will be a completely first come first serve process.
Arrival of students – Students will receive their phones at the beginning of Spring semester on move-in day.


Phone Recycling Program (Chris Waller)



Christine Landau & Diana Wolfish

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:22:03