How Aussies’ old, broken phones dialled up 60,000 meals for those in need

Posted March 21, 2017

Australians have rallied together for a worthy cause, decluttering their homes and donating 60,000 old phones to recycle, which will allow OzHarvest to deliver the equivalent amount of meals to people in need.

Deliveroo and Uber Eats aren’t the only way to deliver a meal, as MobileMuster and OzHarvest’s successful summer initiative Mobile For A Meal will help deliver 60,000 meals to vulnerable Australians.

“Recycling efforts have not only helped OzHarvest but also helped the mobile phone industry to play their role in product stewardship and ensure that products that reach their end of life are recycled in a safe, secure and ethical way,” says Stuart MacIntyre, Chair of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) which manages the MobileMuster program.

Image credit: Stuart MacIntyre, Director of Optus Business Technology and Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) Chairman presenting MobileMuster cheque to Henrietta Ardlie, Head of Fundraising OzHarvest.

“I am overjoyed that so many people have put their old mobile phones  to  good use,” says Ronni Kahn, CEO of OzHarvest, “through this great partnership, old technology has been saved from landfill and turned into a healthy hot meal for someone who really needs it”.

Although e-waste and food waste aren’t typically related, the initiative tackles these two growing waste issues in Australia; with 10 billion dollars of food wasted every year, while there are over 25 million old mobiles sitting around in Australian homes waiting to be recycled.

Mobile For A Meal has been a huge success for the MobileMuster program,” says Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager at MobileMuster, “we have seen a 17% increase in the number of phones we usually collect over those summer months which means more Australians are recycling.”

“The initiative has been successful threefold; encouraging people to recycle, keeping old mobile phones out of landfill and contributing to the important work that OzHarvest are doing,” he concluded.