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October 21, 2022

Recycle the right way

MobileMuster is calling on all Australians to recycle their unused mobile phones the right way.  Recycling has become an important and accepted part of modern life as consumers, and we all understand that the earth has finite resources, and the precious metals and minerals we use to manufacture things like cars, appliances, and computers will run out if we continue to live beyond our planet’s means.

While recycling is accepted as the best way to keep valuable materials in circulation, how products are recycled, who runs the recycling program, and what we can expect from the recycling process are some of the unknowns that stand in the way of increased recycling.

Take, for example, the indispensable device that is found in nearly everyone’s hand for the majority of every day – our mobile phones. It’s reassuring to know that when mobile phones are recycled through the carbon neutral MobileMuster program, more than 95% of materials are recovered. Yet today, close to 26 million phones remain in storage across Australia, with almost 5 million of these being unusable. So, why do we keep holding onto them?

Despite 75% of the population is aware of the mobile phone recycling program in Australia, only 1 in 3 of us has recycled a phone in the past. According to independent research[1], a significant proportion of people holding onto their old phones have data concerns, including a lack of confidence in transferring or saving data from their old phones or not knowing how to delete personal information. Are these valid reasons?

 MobileMuster, Australia’s oldest national mobile phone recycling program, understands the importance of recycling the right way, where mobile phones are processed in an environmentally responsible manner that is completely transparent to users of the program. The scheme is voluntarily funded by all major mobile phone manufacturers and network carriers and has successfully maintained federal government accreditation for the last 9 years, which is a testament to its best practice recycling model.

The federal government continues to support product stewardship as it drives a shared responsibility for managing a product’s lifecycle. MobileMuster has had a proven history of responsibly recovering and recycling end-of-life mobile phones and accessories to the highest environmental standards.

MobileMuster reassures mobile phone users that when their device is received for recycling by its recycling partner, a trusted global leader in electronic waste recycling, it is pulled apart to separate key material streams for recycling, including glass, aluminum, precious metals, and plastic. These materials are processed separately through shredding, crushing, heating, and smelting. During this time, any remaining data left on mobiles is destroyed, which means no personal information can be recovered.

And if you want to find out how to wipe your device of personal data before you drop it off, which the program recommends, then MobileMuster provides step-by-step instructions to help you better manage your data; simply visit mobilemuster.com.au/recycle-a-mobile for more information.

There are also resources to guide you through backing up, deleting, or transferring data such as contacts and pictures from your old phone to a new phone in a few simple steps. Then, you can pass it on, sell it, or recycle it without any concerns.

Feeling more confident to take action with your old mobile phone?  Will you now be a reuser or a recycler? We all have a role to play in either extending the life of our old mobile phones or increasing recycling rates in Australia. Together, we can all recycle the right way.