Mobilemuster is the only whole of industry led electronic product recycling program in the world. It is funded voluntarily by handset manufacturers Nokia, Motorola, Samsung Electronics Australia, Sony Ericsson, LG Electornics, Sharp, NEC, Panasonic, i-Mate, battery distributors Force Technology and mobile phone network service providers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, Virgin Mobile and AAPT. Each pay an advance recycling levy raising 42 cents for every handset they import into Australia.Convinced? I certainly was, and was guilty of having more than one old handset laying around in drawers. At least I had the common sense not to throw them into landfill.
What can be recycled
Over 90% of the materials in mobile phones can be recovered and used as raw materials for new products.
Mining versus recycling
- Batteries include nickel to make stainless steel and cobalt and cadmium to make new batteries.
- Circuit boards include small amounts of gold and silver that is used in jewellery and other applications.
- Handset housings and casings include plastics that are shredded and used to make fence posts and pallets.
- Accessories include plastics and metals that are shredded, sorted and then used to make new plastic or metal products.
One tonne of mobile phone circuit boards can yield the same amount of precious metals as 110 tonnes of gold ore. 123 tonnes of silver bearing ore and 11 tonnes of copper sulphide ore. See what the materials from old mobiles can be turned into.
Number of collection/drop off points
- prevent pollution and protect our environment
- minimise solid and hazardous waste going to landfill
- recover resources to manufacture new products
- reduce the need to use raw materials and save our natural resources
Over 3,500 collection points Australia wide including
Click here to find your nearest collection point.
- Nokia Care and Motorola One Service Centres
- Mobile Phone Retailers - Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Crazy Johns, Fone Zone, Allphones, Dick Smiths and Harvey Normans
- Cartridge World stores
- Battery World stores
- Almost 300 local councils
- participating ANZ and Sydney Credit Union branches
Recycle by post
Free recycling satchels are now available from participating Australia Post outlets nationwide. Alternatively you can download a reply paid mailing labelling.
So here are the phones and the recycling satchel that I picked up. You can only put one phone and related accessories into one satchel.
After about 2 minutes work, here they all are ready to post tomorrow.
I was gob-smacked when I found out that there are 21.2 million subscribers in Australia (June 2009). So that is roughly one phone for every man, woman and child in this country! There were approximately 7.86 million handset imported into the country last year, with only 806,000 were recycled last year, and to make matters worse, the average user upgrades handsets every 18-24 months. There must be so many handsets either thrown into landfill or squirreled away in drawers, forgotten and collecting dust.
So round up your old handsets, take them to a collection point, or get a satchel from your participating Australia Post office. Not only will you be avoiding potentially hazardous landfill, but you will be saving resources and preventing habit loss from the mining of the minerals required for the phone components.
Win win all around, and it is FREE. It doesn't get much better than that.