what will become of the gendarmerie’s old telephones?

Make room for modernity! After 5 years of good and loyal service, NÉO 1 (the first smartphones and tablets used daily by the gendarmes) will give way to a new generation of digital tools, more efficient and more complete, developed under the name NÉO 2. Implemented from March 2022 in throughout the French mainland and abroad, these 120,000 new smartphones (then tablets) will be assigned to each unit’s gendarmes.

This digital modernization operation will make more than 65,000 telephones currently used in the gendarmerie obsolete: NÉO 1. What to do with these telephones and tablets? How do you move forward in modernity while limiting the ecological and environmental impact associated with the destruction of so many digital devices? Well by reusing them! And for this, the gendarmerie, together with the French company Ecosystem, an eco-organization approved by the public authorities and specialized in this field, has set up a comprehensive recycling and recycling operation. Purpose: to give new life to the gendarmerie’s old telephones.

Two branchesres of recycling

For reuse of all these devices, two channels are planned: the first for very old or very damaged phones, and the second for phones that can still be used despite their age. Ecosystem will support the first category of terminals. The digital tools are being dismantled piece by piece. Then the equipment will be recycled and the metals and plastics will be recycled.

For recyclable devices, this time Ecosystem will call on a reintegration company linked to Emmaüs: Les Ateliers du Bocage. Located near Niort, in Deux-Sèvres, this small company will be responsible for restoring the reusable phones to working condition, which will then be resold in various Emmaüs stores in the area.

A maneuver that will make it possible to take into account all the still reusable digital devices from the gendarmes on the French mainland and abroad.

100 passing pointsreading

In the field, prior to this recycling operation, another game will be played, and this time it will be the SOLCs (the gendarmes from the operational sections for the fight against cyber threats) who will be the leaders of the orchestra. Of the 100 collection points distributed in the various departmental gendarmerie groups, the latter have begun to receive the new NÉO 2 terminals, as well as the boxes that Ecosystem has sent for the storage of NÉO 1. Their mission will then be to simultaneously manage the distribution of NÉO 2 and the recovery of NÉO 1. A maneuver specified by Colonel Pascal Julien, Program Director at the DOE, responsible for managing the global NÉO 2 strategy: “The soldier wants to change his DOES NOTEISLAND 1 against one DOES NOTEISLAND 2; the data will then be transferred from one device to another. The oldest DOES NOTEISLAND 1 becomes so bleached“, then deposited in the boxes provided by Ecosystem. At the end of this collection, which should last almost 6 months, these boxes will be restored by a freight company chartered by Ecosystem. Non-recyclable phones will go to recycling chains. The others will be donated to Emmaüs, which announces that it will be able to create jobs in its smartphone upgrade workshops. The purpose of this agreement is, of course, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). It is a matter of integrating environmental and social considerations into this maneuver. It was also necessary to strive for zero cost to the gendarmerie for such an operation. »

Completion of the deployment of NÉO 2 is scheduled for September 2022 for mainland France and abroad.

A maneuver on gran’te scale

For the gendarmerie, but also for the Ecosystem company, this large-scale recycling maneuver is a big first time. To cope with this, the French company, which has been recycling 100,000 phones since the end of 2020, had to adapt, as one of its executives explains: “The advantage over this operation is that, since we have quite a long visibility, we can predict upstream the quantities that come from a certain period. And the closer we get to deadlines, […] the more logistical and human resources we can put in to process the deposits that come. »

On the side of the gendarmerie, the difficulty lies not in the amount of reclaimed terminals, but rather in the place where they are. “The difficulty is abroad, because abroad nothing, no structure exists. We will therefore have to organize the repatriation of NEO 1 on the French mainland, and this at a lower cost, that is, via the military sea routes. For this we are going to project ourselves very far in time. The equipment will return to the French mainland in 2023 with a volume of around 4,000 workstations. You also need to think about safety and security issues around this material. When stored and aged, as in Guyana, the decomposition is much faster than on the French mainland. There are risks of particular pollution, fire, which we have to control from start to finish. “ indicates Colonel Julien.

Difficulties that have been foreseen so that this maneuver, without precedent for the gendarmerie, takes place without any problems.

Insertion of NEO 2 abroad: a large-scale logistical maneuver

Since the beginning of March, NÉO 2, the new generation of telephones for the gendarmerie, has started to be deployed with priority broadcast.

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