Recycling

Transforming electronic waste into valuable materials.

Why recycling matters

Through our recycling process MobileMuster transforms the components from mobile phone waste into valuable materials for reuse. It means that fewer raw materials need to be extracted and processed to make new products. By recycling your mobile phone today you will be helping reduce the impact on the environment of tomorrow.

Watch our video to find out what happens when you drop off your mobile phone for recycling at a MobileMuster collection point.

The Recycling Process

MobileMuster partners with TES, a global leader in electronic waste recycling, to maximize recovery rates and ensure all mobile phone components are processed in an environmentally responsible manner. Through our recycling over 99% of the materials in a mobile phone are recovered.

 

When you drop off your mobile phone or post it back for recycling they are transported to our recyclers facilities in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.

They are sorted and disassembled into components: batteries, printed circuit boards, casing, screens, accessories and packaging.

These components are processed separately through shredding, sorting and heating techniques to maximise resource recovery.

What materials are recovered?

 

Glass is used in the touch screen of a mobile phone. When it is recycled  the glass is melted, crushed and used to produce new glass products or as a replacement material in road base and construction.

Aluminium is used in a mobile phone casing and components. It is one of the most recyclable materials. Aluminium is melted in a furnace and the liquid aluminium is then placed in moulds to create new aluminium products.

A small amount of valuable metals including gold, silver, palladium, platinum and copper can be found on a mobile phone circuit board. The metals are separated, extracted and processed to be reused again.

Lithium batteries are processed to recover valuable materials including steel and a mixed metal compound of graphene, nickel, cobalth and lithium that can be used to make new batteries.

Plastic can be found on mobile phone casing and accessories. Recycled plastic is processed into pellets and can be turned into new products like pallets. It requires a lot less energy than goes into making new plastic.

Paper and cardboard are used in mobile phone packaging. The packaging is recycled into new paper products which saves energy, water and landfill space.

What are the benefits?

The environmental benefit is gained from avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Through recycling you’re also preventing potentially hazardous materials from entering the environment.

To measure the environmental benefit of recycling your phone take a look at our calculator. You can enter the number of mobile phones or kilograms into the calculator and see the positive impact you can have on the environment by recycling.

Circular economy

A circular economy is designed to support the repair, reuse and recycling of products so that the materials that have gone into making them retain their value and can continue to be reused.

To support the circular economy it is important to extend the life of your phone where you can. Device manufacturers make it easy to update software and entire operating systems without the need to purchase a new phone. They also offer repair and reuse programs for customers and when the phone no longer works you can recycle them through MobileMuster.

MobileMuster helps to develop the circular economy in Australia, specifically we believe our role is to:

  • Enhance the collection system of unwanted phones;
  • Support repair and reuse programs to increase the lifespan of mobile phone use;
  • Improve the material recovery process in recycling; and
  • Reduce the number of phones in storage.

Reuse options

Extending the life of a product is an important part of the circular economy and will reduce their environmental impact.

Our members can help extend the life of your phone through their repair and reuse programs. MobileMuster works with service centres and repair shops to ensure that any mobiles and components that can’t be reused are recycled the right way.

Find repair and service centres for your mobile phone – Alcatel –  Apple –  HMD GlobalHTCHuawei –  GoogleMicrosoft –  MotorolaOppoSamsungZTE

If your mobile is still working consider extending its life by either selling it or passing it on to friends and family. Remember to remove any data on your phone before you sell or give your phone away. Read our data management tips

MobileMuster partners with many of the commercial reuse programs in Australia as their recycling partner to ensure that any mobiles and accessories which have no resale value are recycled. If you sell or donate your phone make sure you ask lots of questions and think about if it is going to a place where it can be recycled when it reaches the end of its life. We don’t want our old mobiles ending up as an e-waste problem in another country.

Reuse program in Australia include Boomerang Buyback, Mazuma Mobile, Mobile Monster and Phone Cycle. If your phone doesn’t have any resale value or has stopped working then it is time to recycle it.