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A Cheshire-based firm has paid out more than £250,000 to punters recycling their old mobile phones since the beginning of the year.

Envirofone.com either pays cash or offers punters credit that can be used at Argos for handing in old handsets. The firm then reconditions the handsets, if necessary, before sending them overseas to be used in countries where the cost of new hardware would be prohibitively high.

As well as receiving cash for recycling their phones, punters can also nominate a charity of their choice to receive a donation.

Since January envirofone.com has paid out more than £250,000 to punters and £35,000 in charitable donations.

It's estimated that around 15m old mobile phones are upgraded each year in the UK but fewer than three million are recycled or reused.

"We launched envirofone.com to target the general public and get them into the recycling habit," envirofone chief exec Pete Petrondas said. "Unlike traditional schemes, we recognised that we needed to encourage the general public to recycle so we decided to offer them either cash or credit from Argos." ®

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