Case Studies

Councils play an important role in promoting the MobileMuster program and collecting old mobile phones, batteries and accessories for recycling. We have put together some examples of the award-winning programs and initiatives that councils have run to encourage the community to participate in the program. 

City of Sydney (NSW) - Winner 2014 National Excellence AwardCity Of Sydney

City of Sydney received their award for establishing new recycling stations at community centres and libraries to give residents greater access to recycling. The ten recycling stations mean that residents can dispose of problem waste within walking distance of home instead of waiting for the City’s quarterly e-waste and chemical drop-off days to come around.The new stations have dramatically increased the council mobile phones collections. They also provide an integrated solution for residents who can drop off your old batteries, mobiles, and light bulbs for recycling at the one location. 

Alice Springs Town Council (NT) – Winner 2010 Best Promoter Award

Alice Spring Town Council developed and promoted a “Tree Swap” program, which saw many local residents swapping their old and unused mobile phone for a free native tree. This resulted in more than 400 mobile phones handed into MobileMuster for recycling. The idea came out of a council meeting and was heavily supported by the environmental committee and Elected Members.

Darebin City Council (Vic) – Winner 2012 National Excellence Award


The council increased mobile phone recycling by designing, developing, installing and promoting a number of recycling stations at their customer service centres and staff lunch room. The recycling stations provided a convenient and easy drop-off point for recycled material and are often used by shoppers and people visiting Council. The stations educate residents that recycling is easy, and by recycling their mobile phones, they are making a positive contribution to the environment. Darebin’s residents are diverse and over one third of residents speak a language other than English at home. The recycling stations were designed to make it easy to interpret and the images of mobile phones and accessories stuck on at the recycling stations provided a visual prompt which increased the number of accessories being dropped off with their mobile phone units. The council promoted the recycling stations and participation in the MobileMuster program through their sustainability newsletter, local paper and recycling calendar.

Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (WA) – Winner 2012 Working with Schools Award

Cr Pilgrim - Mobile Muster Awards 2012 (cropped ) (1)

The Waste Education team at Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council promoted the MobileMuster program to local schools. The council visisted local schools and held talks at their assemblies on mobile phone recycling. They also provided schools with information about MobileMuster, including background on how the recycling process works and the new products that can be created from old phones. Local schools received handouts, letter to parents, stickers, flyers and posters encouraging them to promote the MobileMuster program. The council also helped small rural schools within their area to participate in running a Muster at their school by collecting the mobile phones for recycling so that they could be sent back to MobileMuster.

Lismore City Council (NSW) – Winner 2011 Working with Schools Award.

As part of the council education program local schools were invited to install a collection tub at their school. These tubs collected mobile phones, along with other waste products including batteries, corks, printer cartridges and CDs. Within the area 23 local schools participated in the program and between them collected around 400kg of these special recyclables each term. To encourage participation the school that collected the most grams of recyclable per student received a $150 voucher for the school. The council also encouraged schools to complete a MobileMuster classroom activity on recycling mobile phones. The lesson addressed the impact of mobile phones and the recycling process. Twelve primary schools have completed the program.

A key component of the councils MobileMuster promotion is the Council display at the annual Lismore Show. The council used MobileMuster promotional resources to promote the program and establish a mobile collection point at the show. A focus of the MobileMuster display has been youth education with the council using a phone target which youth need to aim and throw at the hole to get a goal. Engaging youth in a fun activity to raise awareness about the MobileMuster program. A similar display is also used annually during National Recycling Week at a local shopping centre. 

Moonee Valley City Council (Vic) / Eurobodalla Shire Council (NSW) - Joint Winners 2009 National Excellence Award

The councils developed a system where specially marked mobile satchels were recovered through the material recycling facility from the residents yellow recycling bin. The councils promoted mobile muster to local residents through their recycling guide which included a MobileMuster satchel that was sent out to each resident on the domestic waste collection. The campaign saw four times as many mobile phones collected over a two year period.

Nillumbik Shire Council (Vic) – Winner 2011 Best Promoter Award


Nillumbik Shire Council actively promotes mobile phone recycling through permanent mobile phones collection stations at their office, operations centre and Community Farm. However they found that local residents visiting these offices usually forgot to bring their phones for recycling. The council applied for a MobileMuster grant which enabled them to post a recycling satchel to every household in the Shire. The satchel was inserted in the Council’s quarterly community newsletter along with an article about how to use the satchel and the benefits of mobile phone recycling. The articles explained the recycling process and what happens to each of the mobile phone components. This initiative provided an extremely easy way for residents to recycle and had the potential to see over 21 500 mobile phones recycled.

City of Stirling Council (WA) – Winner 2008 Best Promoter

The council uses a wide range of promotional avenues to encourage mobile phone recycling. They increased the number of active collection points from 12 to 32 including local libraries, recreation centres and administration building to make it more visible and convenient for local residents to recycle. They have promoted MobileMuster campaigns in local newspapers and on the council website. Through their recycling publications they promoted the MobileMuster program in three brochures and included information about MobileMuster to 43 schools participating in council recycling programs. They have put together recycling displays and presentations to schools including a classroom incursion with Year 6 on recycling.