Frequently Asked Questions

Mobo – FAQ: our answers on the Mobo collection and recycling of cell phones


Isn't Mobo just a trash can for mobile phones?

Mobo's goal is to find new use for the millions of used mobile phones laying around in drawers. With Mobo, the old, used mobile phones are no longer considered rubbish like old batteries or glass bottles. They become a "valuable" good. With Mobo, you aren't "throwing away" your mobile phone, you are making a "charitable donation". If it cannot be refurbished, it will be recycled.


Doesn't the return of waste from Africa to Europe worsen Orange's carbon footprint?

Importing waste from Africa to Europe is currently the best solution given the constraints on recycling waste. The waste for final treatment is transported by boat within the regulatory framework of the Basle Convention.


Doesn't Mobo contribute to supplying and polluting Africa with old mobile phones?

The mobile phones used in Africa are often used phones that come from Europe. Currently, there are no local recycling facilities in Africa. So Orange has teamed up with Emmaüs International to create a collection and recycling network in certain African countries. The profits from the mobile phone sales collected by Mobo help finance this initiative. A workshop was opened in March 2010 in Burkina Faso. In 2011, workshops were opened in Benin, Madagascar and Mali... There is a dual benefit: job creation and avoiding that emerging countries becoming dumping grounds for electronic equipment waste.


Does Orange make a profit on the mobiles collected?

Orange funds Mobo but does not receive any profits from the sale of the mobile phones collected. All of the profits are donated to Orange's social business partners (Ateliers du Bocage and Emmaüs International).


Orange also offers buy-back and mobile phone trade-ins. How can Mobo exist along side with those commercial offers?

Orange offers to buy back a consumer's used cell phone in exchange for gift certificates, if the operation takes place in a shop, or for cash if online. Consumers can decide to take advantage of these buy back offers. They can also choose to donate their mobile phone to create return-to-work jobs and fund mobile waste collection in Africa. Both options exist, the consumer decides.


What does Mobo do with the personal data in the mobiles it collects?

After the mobile phones are collected by Mobo, they are sent to workshops for sorting (Ateliers du Bocage, a subsidiary of Emmaüs), where all personal data is systematically erased using a certified, audited process.


Where can I find a Mobo?

The map available at ("recycle your mobile") shows you the Mobo collector closest to you. Mobo is installed in numerous public places: stores, shopping centres, various municipal facilities (town halls, libraries, etc.) and workplaces (office reception areas). Mobo will continue to be rolled out progressively as partnerships are set up with local authorities, businesses, and any other organisations interested in hosting or running mobile collection operations. Partnership requests can be made at ("adopt Mobo")


What's the difference between Mobo and the cardboard mobile phone collection boxes provided by Orange?

Mobo does not replace the collectors that are currently available to businesses and local governments ( Mobo is an additional mechanism that promotes the collection of used mobile phones to consumers in particular by keeping the donor informed of what happens to the mobile phone.


What's the difference between Mobo and other phone collectors in certain shops?

Mobo makes mobile phone collection fun and rewarding. This in turn raises consumer awareness and encourages the return of old mobile phones. Unlike conventional collectors, Mobo informs donors on what happens to their mobiles and may, from time to time, thank them with prizes to win. Mobo complements traditional collection solutions which adds momentum to the collection of used cell phones.


Is Mobo eco-designed?

Mobo has been designed to be easily dismantled and recycled. Its e-paper screen consumes very little electricity. It is produced and assembled in France, with the exception of the screen which is produced in Taiwan. With its platform of services, Mobo helps optimise travel for collecting mobiles.

it’s easy to give a new lease on life to your mobile phone

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Good to know

  • Mobo accepts all mobile phone types, from any operator
  • Mobo also accepts accessories: chargers, batteries, earpieces, and cables.


Remember to save your personal data and recover your SIM card before placing your mobile phone in Mobo.

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What's the IMEI number?

The IMEI number (or International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a 15-digit number is something like your mobile's identification card.

Where to find it:

If your old mobile is still working, press *#06# on the keypad: the IMEI will be displayed on the screen.

You can also find your IMEI number:
- on the original packaging, generally close to the barcode
- in the battery compartment.

your mobile phone has been registered.
soon, you will know what has become of it

Just leave it in a Mobo.
To do this, go to the Mobo map. the map of Mobo

Thank you for your support :)