Latest News

Working with councils

MobileMuster partnering with local councils

We provide a free service to over 370 councils across Australia to make it easy for residents to recycle in their community. Find your nearest drop-off point.

Learn more →
Alt text

E-waste recycling initiative paves way for greener future

Leading product stewardship program, MobileMuster has partnered with local battery recycler, Envirostream, to offer councils new recycling bins that collect mobiles phones and all types of batteries.

  • Leading product stewardship program, MobileMuster has partnered with local battery recycler, Envirostream, to offer councils new recycling bins that collect mobiles phones and all types of batteries.

    The partnership is initially targeting local councils in Victoria who are preparing for the e-waste landfill ban, coming into effect 1 July 2019 to tackle one of Australia’s fastest growing waste streams. From there the units will be rolled out nationally to local councils and selective retailers.

    Research shows approximately 256,000 tonnes of e-waste will be produced in Victoria by 2035; and in this year alone, approximately six million old and unused phones across the state are sitting in drawers gathering dust.

    Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager from MobileMuster says, “We know that consumers are keen to recycle batteries along with their mobile phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way.

    The partnership will make it easy for councils to offer residents a multi-collection station so they can responsibly dispose of their mobile phones and all batteries in the one place.”

    Over the next 12 months as councils get ready for the ban, MobileMuster will be ramping up their education campaign in Victoria to let residents know how and where to recycle their mobile phones and batteries.

    All of the batteries that are collected in the new recycling bins will be processed by Envirostream’s facilities based in Victoria. The mobile phones and accessories will also initially be processed locally before further processing for resource recovery.

    Andrew Mackenzie Director from Envirostream says, “Our Australian-owned, battery processing facility is based on international best practice and can safely recover more than 95% of the resources from end-of-life batteries. We send those resources to metal and battery manufacturers, where they can be used as raw materials in new batteries.”

    Victorians can contribute to having a positive environment impact by actively recycling their ewaste.

    Residents can responsibly recycle their mobile phones and accessories through the MobileMuster program by visiting participating local councils and retail stores including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobiles, Officeworks and Salvos Stores. Search for your local drop-off point.

Alt text

MobileMuster Committed to Working with Councils

Recently in the media there have been a number of news stories about local councils stopping their curbside recycling services due to cost increases associated with China’s foreign waste ban. The ban has no impact on MobileMuster’s recycling process and the program will continue to offer the community and local councils a free service throughout Australia.

  • Recently in the media there have been a number of news stories about local councils stopping their curbside recycling services due to cost increases associated with China’s foreign waste ban. The ban has no impact on MobileMuster’s recycling process and the program will continue to offer the community and local councils a free service throughout Australia.

    In the 20 years that MobileMuster has been operating it has developed solid partnerships with over 370 local councils, providing a robust and environmentally sound solution for the disposal of mobile phones and accessories. The work with councils has diverted over 20 tonnes of mobile phone components out of landfill so they can be recovered and reused. MobileMuster’s recycling process recovers 99% of the materials in a mobile phone. MobileMuster is committed to collaborating with councils to educate the community on how they can recycle responsibly through the program.

    In instances where local councils do not support mobile phone recycling then consumers can search to find alternative drop off points in their local community. The collection network for the program includes over 1500 retailers including all major phone retailers, such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

    If your council doesn’t currently participate in the MobileMuster program and is interested in getting involved visit our partners page to register. Once registered MobileMuster provides councils with free collection units tailored for admin centres, libraries and waste transfer sites, plus resources to promote mobile phone recycling to their residents.

    null

Alt text

MobileMuster turns old mobiles into meals for people in need

Over summer MobileMuster teamed up with OzHarvest to encourage recycling

  • Over summer MobileMuster teamed up with OzHarvest to encourage Australians to clean out the junk drawer and recycle their old mobiles through the Mobile for a Meal initiative.

    We achieved our target of recycling 70,000 mobiles which meant we were able to deliver 70,000 meals to vulnerable Australians through OzHarvest. Thanks to all of our collection partners and everyone who participated.

    What happens with the phones?

    When we receive your mobiles and accessories, everything is dismantled and the components processed to maximize recovery rates. We make sure that everything is recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

    Through our recycling over 99% of the materials in a mobile phone are recovered. This process reduces the impact of mobile phones on the environment by avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and conserving natural resources.

    null

Alt text

MobileMuster showcases top local government recyclers

MobileMuster will showcase their top council recyclers at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly in Canberra in June 2018. Currently there are over thirty five local councils from around Australia in the running for a Top Recycler awards.

  • Council partners continue to increase collections and find innovative ways to support MobileMuster and encourage the community to recycle.

    MobileMuster has been partnering with local councils for over 12 years to make recycling accessible and community-friendly. It works with 370 councils around Australia to help divert thousands of tonnes of non-renewable resources out of landfill and back into the manufacture of new products.

    “Councils play an important role in offering convenient public drop-off points and educating the community on how to recycle responsibly. Over the last 12 years local councils have collected almost 34 tonnes of mobile phone components,” says Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager, MobileMuster.

    Positive partnerships with local councils are a key factor in the success of the government accredited mobile phone recycling program. Each year MobileMuster attracts more local government partners who continue to increase collections for the program.

    If your council doesn’t currently participate in the MobileMuster program and is interested in getting involved you can register online or call 02 8920 3555. Once registered MobileMuster can provide you with free collection units tailored for admin centres, libraries and waste transfer sites, plus resources to promote the program.

    About the Awards

    Councils have until the end of April to organise their final collections so they can be counted towards their total collections.

    The awards are based on the council who has collected the most mobile phone components for recycling between 1 May 2017 and 30 April 2018. The Top Collector in each state and territory as well as a Top Collector Per Capita will be announced at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly in Canberra in June 2018.

    *The current top local council collectors in each state and territory (in alphabetical order) based on collections received between 1 May 2017 and 28 February 2018.

    New South Wales

    • Hornsby Shire Council
    • Lake Macquarie City Council
    • Newcastle City Council
    • Randwick City Council
    • Wingecarribee Shire Council

    Northern Territory

    • Alice Springs Town Council
    • City of Palmerston
    • Darwin City Council
    • East Arnhem Regional Council
    • West Arnhem Regional Council

    Queensland

    • Brisbane City Council
    • Bundaberg Regional Council
    • Cairns Regional Council
    • Redland City Council
    • Townsville City Council

    South Australia

    • Alexandrina Council
    • City of Charles Sturt
    • City of Mitcham
    • City of Onkaparinga
    • City of Tea Tree Gully

    Tasmania

    • Devonport City Council
    • Glenorchy City Council
    • Kingborough Council
    • Launceston City Council
    • Waratah Wynyard Council

    Victoria

    • City of Monash
    • Latrobe City Council
    • Moonee Valley City Council
    • Nillumbik Shire Council
    • Yarra City Council

    Western Australia

    • City of Bunbury
    • City of Cockburn
    • City of Stirling
    • Mindarie Regional Council
    • Shire of Harvey
Alt text

MobileMuster & ChemClear team up in South Australia

South Australian property owners can safely dispose of their mobile phones at the same time as their unwanted farm chemicals, when Agsafe’s ChemClear collection hits the road in June.

  • The agricultural and veterinary chemical waste disposal program has teamed up with MobileMuster, the mobile industry product stewardship program, for the first collection of its kind, giving remote farmers and growers a chance to recycle mobiles and accessories. MobileMuster recycling manager, Spyro Kalos said the collaboration will make it easy for rural residents to responsibly dispose of both their mobile phones and chemicals in one convenient collection.

    “This is a great initiative that tackles two waste streams and gives residents an opportunity to declutter their home or work space in a safe, secure and environmentally sound way,” he said.

    The aim of the MobileMuster program is to keep old mobiles and accessories out of landfill and ensure they are responsibly recycled. MobileMuster accepts and recycles all brands and types of mobile phones and accessories. Everything is recycled, nothing is resold and all data is destroyed in the process. ChemClear is a waste management program that encourages farmers and other agvet chemical users to clean up their farms and chemical stores, and register unused chemicals for collection and safe disposal to ensure sound environmental practices.

    Waste holders have until 27 April to register their unwanted farm chemicals visit chemclear.org.au for details.

Alt text

MobileMuster Partners with Able Australia to Help Deafblind People Stay Connected

Currently there are an estimated 288,000 Australians who live with no hearing and sight and this number is predicted to rise to over one million by 2050 (1). This September MobileMuster has partnered with Able Australia and are calling on workplaces to donate old smartphones to support the deafblind community.

  • Smartphones collected during the initiative will be donated to Able Australia to improve the digital literacy of the deafblind community. The phones will be used to educate people on how to use speech recognition and Braille readers via mobile technology.

    Deafblindness is very much Australia’s forgotten disability. Able Australia tells us that nine out of ten deafblind people will experience depression and anxiety and the simple act of donating an unwanted phone is an easy way to show your support to Australia’s deafblind community. Unwanted smartphones play a vital link that can transform a socially isolated person with deafblindness into an active member of their local community. Something most of us take for granted.

    Mobile technology can also help people with deafblindness participate in the workforce. A report by Deloitte Access Economics commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) found that mobile technology allows people with deafblindness to communicate, engage and interact, thereby improving their daily lives and opportunities to participate in the workforce (2).

    Australia has over 31 million mobile phone subscribers who, on average, replace their handsets every 18 to 24 months. We know there are approximately 23 million unused mobiles sitting in homes and workplaces around Australia, some of these may be smartphones that could help the deafblind community. Now is the perfect time to donate your unwanted mobile phone to a great cause.

    Each smartphone will be checked to confirm it is working and any data left of the phone will be wiped to ensure privacy. MobileMuster will also ensure that any mobiles and accessories that can’t be reused will be recycled by MobileMuster in a safe, secure and ethical way, with all data being destroyed in the recycling process.

    This initiative will run for the month of September. MobileMuster will provide you with resources to support your participation. We have a Able Australia mailing label which you can simply download and attach to your package containing old smartphones and chargers.

    (1) Access Economics (2010), Making Sense: The economic impact of dual sensory impairment and multiple disabilities commission by Able Australia.

    (2) Deloitte Access Economics (2016), Mobile nation: Driving workforce participation and productivity commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA).

Alt text

HMD Global Joins MobileMuster

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) is pleased to announce that HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has joined MobileMuster.

  • As the mobile telecommunications industry’s official recycling program, the service provides a free take back program for old mobiles and accessories. Run in partnership with mobile handset manufacturers and network operators Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile the service provides a free national recycling program to mobile phone users.

    “The mobile telecommunications industry is delighted to welcome Nokia phones, one of the industry’s most iconic and recognisable brands, to our world-class recycling program,” said Chief Executive Officer of AMTA, Chris Althaus.

    “Nokia phones was a founding member of MobileMuster in 1998, so it’s great to welcome HMD Global into the program. Our members work together to ensure old mobiles are kept out of landfill and recycled in a responsible, secure and environmentally sound way, placing reusable commodities back into the supply chain.”

    Since MobileMuster started in late 1998 it has diverted more than 1,320 tonnes of mobiles and accessories from landfill for recycling, including more than an estimated 11.9 million handsets and batteries.

    “As we bring the new range of Nokia Android smartphones, including the latest Nokia 8, into the Australian market we are proud to join the industry-funded program and offer our customers a sustainable recycling service,” said Mark Trundle, Country Manager for HMD Global Australia.

    “Being part of this government accredited initiative gives us great confidence that our smartphones, batteries and accessories, once they have finished their useful life, will be recycled to the highest environmental standards.”

    With over 96 per cent of the materials used in a mobile being recyclable, they can be reused to make new products, avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, protecting our environment and conserving scarce natural resources.

    MobileMuster accepts and recycles all brands and types of mobile phones, batteries, chargers and accessories. Everything is recycled, nothing is resold and all data is destroyed. There are over 3,500 drop-off points Australia wide for consumers to recycle their old mobiles, batteries and accessories.

    About MobileMuster

    MobileMuster is the only not-for-profit government accredited mobile phone recycling program in Australia and is funded solely by mobile phone industry’s members Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel, Oppo, HMD Global (Nokia), Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile. The aim of the program is to keep old mobiles and accessories out of landfill and ensure they are recycled safely, securely and ethically. Nothing is resold and all data is destroyed.

    About HMD Global

    Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, HMD Global Oy is the new home of Nokia phones and tablets. HMD designs and markets a range of smartphones and feature phones targeted at a range of consumers and price points. With a commitment to innovation and quality, HMD is the proud exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile phones and tablets. Nokia is a registered trademark of Nokia Corporation. For further information see www.hmdglobal.com

Alt text

Google Joins MobileMuster

The Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (AMTA) welcomes Google to the mobile telecommunications industry’s official recycling program.

  • MobileMuster, run in partnership with mobile handset manufacturers and network operators Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, provides a free national recycling program for mobiles and accessories.

    “The industry is delighted to welcome Google, who launched their Pixel phone by Google last year, to our world class recycling program,” said Chief Executive Officer of AMTA, Chris Althaus.

    “The MobileMuster program is formally accredited by the Federal Government as a voluntary product stewardship scheme so it is great to see new members joining the program as they introduce their products to the Australian market.” concluded Althaus.

    “MobileMuster is an example of industry working together to deliver a robust and sustainable take back program. This is one part of our members commitment to product stewardship,” said Recycling Manager, Spyro Kalos.

    “MobileMuster ensure mobiles are kept out of landfill and recycled in a responsible, secure and environmentally sound way, placing reusable commodities back into the supply chain.” concluded Kalos.

    Since the program started in late 1998 it has diverted more than 1,320 tonnes of mobiles and accessories from landfill for recycling, including more than an estimated 11.9 million handsets and batteries.

    With over 96 per cent of the materials used in a mobile being recyclable, they can be reused to make new products, avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, protecting our environment and conserving scarce natural resources.

    MobileMuster accepts and recycles all brands and types of mobile phones, batteries, chargers and accessories. They provide over 3,500 drop-off points across Australia to make it easy for people to recycle.

Alt text

MobileMuster: Where do we Recycle?

There have been a number of news stories recently about the impact of China’s foreign waste ban in Australia. From 1 July China will not be accepting waste products including paper, textiles and certain metals to be imported. The Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (AMTA), which manages the MobileMuster program, would like to inform the general public and its collection partners that the ban will have no impact on MobileMuster’s recycling process.

  • *Everything collected by MobileMuster is recycled and nothing is sold for reuse. The mobile phones and accessories we receive are dismantled in Australia initially before being recycled for resource recovery in Australia and Singapore. Through the programs recycling effort over 99% of the materials in a mobile phone are recovered.

    For more information on our recycling process visit…

Alt text

Over 1 Million Mobile Handsets & Batteries Recycled

MobileMuster today announced its full year results, growing industry participation and the volume of mobile phone components recycled through the program.

  • “In the past 12 months MobileMuster has collected and recycled 79 tonnes of mobile phone components, including over 1 million handsets and batteries,” said MobileMuster’s Manager Spyro Kalos.

    As the industry product stewardship program moves into its twentieth year, the mobile telecommunications industry continues to invest and lead the way in product stewardship providing a free take back and recycling service for all mobile phone users, along with retailers, workplaces, and local councils within Australia.

    Key highlights from the financial year 2017 annual report:

    • Increase in the collection of mobile phones recycled year on year to 79 tonnes
    • Strong diversion from landfill and recycling rate of 99%
    • Delivered 60,000 meals to people in need through the Mobile for a Meal campaign
    • Welcomed two new members, HMD Global (Nokia) and Google
    • Processing of mobile phone batteries onshore through Envirostream

    In the coming year MobileMuster, the recycling program managed by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) on behalf of the mobile telecommunications industry, will work with its members and collection partners to continue to raise the awareness and sustainability of mobile phone recycling in Australia.

    AMTA also welcomes the review of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and looks forward to working with the Government to maintain MobileMuster as a voluntary scheme that delivers enhanced environmental, social and economic outcomes in Australia.

    The annual results have been independently audited by RSM Bird Australia and assessed to ensure that the program is well positioned for future success under the product stewardship scheme.

    The 2017 Annual Report.