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May 10, 2021

Electronic waste recycling trial

MobileMuster announces 3 month trial of expanded electronics recycling program

MobileMuster, the product stewardship program of the mobile phone industry, announces a free take-back trial to get Australians recycling more electronic waste. The trial has a number of products in its sights, as research reveals that there are millions of different electronic devices in Australian homes that could be recycled, from old-school landline phones to the latest smart home gadgets and wearables.

The trial is being supported by the Federal Government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund which provided funding to develop a business case to expand the scope of MobileMuster’s product capability. The trial will look at recovery and participation rates, customer satisfaction and delivery of environmental benefits.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, said that the trial would play an important role in ensuring that our e-waste is properly recycled, including modems, routers, landline phones, smart home technology, wearables, gaming devices, tablets, mobile phones and accessories.

“MobileMuster has always been at the forefront of product stewardship innovation in Australia, and this is increasingly important as Australians recognise that their waste is a valuable resource whose value must be retained in the Australian economy”.

“I encourage all Australians to get involved in this trial to ensure that our e-waste is properly recycled.”

According to the independent market research undertaken by IPSOS, Australians are storing an incredible number of electronic devices they are no longer using and recycling rates for these products are relatively low between 3 and 14%.(1)

Head of MobileMuster Spyro Kalos said, “There are millions of devices being stored in our homes. If these devices are not going to be repaired or reused, then families should consider recycling them as part of the MobileMuster trial. MobileMuster provides a free, easy and secure recycling program that Australians know and trust.”

If successful MobileMuster will use this business case as the foundation for a permanent model to expand MobileMuster with new brand owner members and ensure more products are collected and recycled responsibly through the voluntary accredited product stewardship program. The trial starts on 10 May 2021 and runs for three months. For more information on how the community can participate and recycle their old electronics, click here.

Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, launching the trial with Spyro Kalos, Head of MobileMuster at Telstra Store, Bondi Junction NSW.

Estimated number of electronic products being stored in Australian homes.

 

  • 3 million landline phones
  • 4 million smart watches
  • 6 million gaming consoles
  • 7 million tablets and eReaders
  • 9 million modems and set top boxes
  • 9 million smart home devices

How many electronic products are currently being recycled?

 

  • 3% of smart home devices and eReaders
  • 4% of tablets, bluetooth speakers and gaming consoles
  • 5% smart watches
  • 7% set top boxes
  • 12% modems
  • 14% landline phones

Electronics Recycling Trial Fun Facts

 

What can I recycle?

  • Mobile phones and accessories
  • Modems and routers
  • Landline phones
  • Smart home tech (smart speakers and monitoring devices)
  • Wearables (smart watches, tracking devices and virtual reality headsets)
  • Gaming tech (consoles, docking devices and controllers)
  • Tablets and eReaders

What happens to the electronic waste collected?

MobileMuster will dismantle all the devices in Australia and recover over 95% of the materials. The components are sorted into glass, plastics and metals so they can be processed separately through shredding, crushing, heating and smelting techniques to maximise resource recovery with the lowest environmental impact.

Which stores are part of the recycling trial?

You can recycle at participating Optus, Telstra and Vodafone stores. Customers should ask staff instore for details. Check the MobileMuster store locator to find your nearest drop off point.

Is there a charge for the service?

No. This service is free of charge.

Why is the service only available in limited stores?

We are currently trialling how the expansion will work and complement our existing recycling program for mobile phones and accessories. This trial phase will begin in May and conclude in July.

What happens to the information on my old electronics?

Any data left on your old electronics will be destroyed through the recycling process. If your device is still working, we encourage you to remove any information and perform a factory reset before recycling. Follow this link to see how to prepare your phone to be recycled and check the product manufacturers website for further advice.

Can I return products that I didn’t buy from the store?

Yes, you can return all electronic products included in the trial regardless of where you purchased them.

How can I recycle from home?

You can request a reply-paid label via our online form which we will post to you. Simply safely package up your old electronics and attach the label to a box or mailing satchel. Drop it off at your local AusPost box or office.

(1) IPSOS, Consumer insights into Electronics Recycling (April 2021). The research was based on a sample size of 1500 people Australia-wide. Respondents were randomly selected from an online panel and were over the age of 18.