Phone recycle firm Redeem goes into administration

(Image credit: Shutterstock / ImYanis)

Mobile phone refurbishment specialist Redeem UK has gone into administration with the loss of 118 jobs.

The company provided recycling services to mobile operators, most notably O2, and directly to consumers through its Envirofone portal.

However the firm has not been accepting new submissions since the imposition of coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions in March and had placed staff on furlough.

Mobile phone recycling 

The decision to go into administration was prompted by a failure to secure new funding for the company. KPMG has been appointed as administrator for the UK division and will work with directors and the firm’s remaining 12 UK staff to wind down the business.

Redeem also has operations in Dubai, Estonia, and Sweden, but it is thought that a buyer for its Spanish business is being sought.

“The directors had been working with customers and stakeholders to secure new funding into the business to support a reopening, but, unfortunately, this has not been possible and has led the directors to take the difficult decision of placing the company into administration,” said administrator Chris Pole.

The market for recycling and refurbishment has grown significantly in recent years due to the high cost of new devices and because of increased awareness of environmental issues.

Since O2 Recycle launched in 2009, the programme has saved more than 3 million devices from landfill - saving customers money and reducing its environmental impact. As many as 2.7 million people have participated in O2 Recycle, with £226 million paid out to customers. In recent years, the average has been £500,000 a week.

Three also partnered with Redeem in 2015, helping to support the operator’s trade-in service.

O2 Recycle is still ongoing, with customers still able to submit their devices, while Three has confirmed it is seeking a new recycling partner after ending its relationship with Redeem during the lockdown period. 

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.