Donating retired devices keeps e-waste out of landfills

Americans throw away more than 151 million phones each year.¹

The United States generates more than 6.92 million tons of e-waste each year — and only recycles 15% of the material.²

Meanwhile, these devices’ life cycle could be extended by reusing them in many different ways you may have not considered.

They could be a cost-efficient tool for small businesses as they are growing.

Children and teens could use them for in-class learning and activities.

Career students could use them for in-the-field training as they pursue their passion.

A new life is almost always possible for these devices.

We think as you continue reading, you’ll soon realize donating retired corporate devices is not only good for the environment, but it’s also good for the soul.

The Donation to the Aerospace Center for Excellence

American Airlines assigns each pilot in its Electronic Flight Bag program an Apple iPad. The tablets are used in the cockpit by pilots for navigation, flight planning, and to hold electronic copies of handbooks and manuals. While planning to refresh the Electronic Flight Bag program last spring, American Airlines and Mobile reCell realized it was an ideal opportunity to give back to the community — American Airlines no longer needed the retiring devices, and there had to be an organization poised to utilize the remaining lifecycle value of the tablets.

American Airlines and Mobile reCell donated more than 300 Apple iPads to the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) to further its mission to Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the Next Generation of Aerospace Professionals. The donation also included 100 chargers that were personally donated by American Airlines Captain Tim Averett.

“These iPads will remain a reference and a guide for young minds getting introduced to careers in aviation. Soon, they may help students realize their dreams, like us when we were young.”

Tim Averett, American Airlines, Captain

ACE serves approximately 50,000 students annually through aviation programs, summer camps, and scholarships aimed at preparing the youth for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges. These iPads will help enhance ACE’s curriculum, as well as provide students with the practical tools they need to enrich their educational experience.

How the Donated Devices are Making a Difference

ACE provides opportunities to give young people a competitive edge as they navigate their educational journey. Ultimately, students may enter a rewarding career in the world’s incredibly diverse and rapidly growing aerospace industry.

The donated Apple iPads have been used during educational events, like Night at the Museum, during which ACE downloaded a constellation app on the tablets and guided families on a star walk across campus. Donated devices have also been used for a flight training program, called ForeFlight, which airlines use during flight training simulations. ForeFlight allows aviation students to learn and familiarize themselves with pilot controls and processes.

These devices will deliver even more impact once ACE’s upcoming project, Skylab, opens later this year. The donated Apple iPads will be used for 3D printers, robotics, and coding opportunities. They will also be used as a supplemental tool for Museum guests, providing them additional multimedia experiences during their visits.

With SkyLab, ACE will enjoy more classroom space for both formal and informal STEM learning and museum programs while also partnering with higher education and technical training partners who will utilize the ACE facility to expand their curriculum centers and workforce training programs. Ultimately, Skylab will further allow ACE to enhance its role as a key facilitator in creating a pipeline of aerospace and engineering professionals for aerospace companies in the U.S. and all over the world, and donated devices will be utilized in many different areas of the facility.

SkyLab will expand capacity for ALL of ACE’s aerospace programming which includes:

  • Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum: People of all ages are introduced to innovators and inventions — both past and present — as well as hands-on STEM learning exhibits.
  • Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA): High school students train for aerospace career paths as professional pilots, mechanics, drone operators, avionics technicians, and engineers.
  • The Lakeland Aero Club: Students spend after-school hours developing aerospace skills by building, maintaining, and flying real aircraft.
  • The Buehler Restoration and Skills Center: Adults and students collaborate together to tackle challenging aircraft restoration, construction, and maintenance projects.
  • Summer Camp Programs and Student Outreach: Youth gain skills and knowledge while exploring aerospace opportunities through engaging group activities — such as the mobile planetarium and Kit Fox mobile aircraft — on the ACE campus and in their local schools.
  • James C. Ray Scholarship Program: ACE staff mentor and support students as they pursue certificates and degrees.
  • Crossfield Educational Building: Students earn Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification as airframe and powerplant mechanics.

The Corporate-Owned Device Recovery Process

To prepare American Airlines’ retired corporate-owned Apple iPads for donation, the airline first needed to retrieve the devices from the field with Mobile reCell’s help.

Mobile reCell orchestrated the individual device recovery of the entire fleet of pilot-issued iPads.

Once a device was received, Mobile reCell inventoried the device, then began the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)-compliant procedures for destroying valuable corporate data stored on the device.

After successfully removing all corporate data, the devices were securely packaged for shipment and delivered to ACE.

Repurposing Retired Mobile Devices For Good Causes

As e-waste increasingly becomes a problem globally, discovering new ways to reuse retired mobile devices quickly becomes a necessity. Implementing a proper device recovery process for retired corporate-owned devices is the best action for your company.

Any devices donated enable students, businesses, and more, as their residual value makes an impact on both our environment and our society.

For ACE and Skylab, fueling career training programs and education facilities with necessary technology allows future professionals to pursue their passions.

A new life is almost always possible for these devices.

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