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Australian homes and offices targeted in major mobile phone recycling initiative

Posted December 9, 2009

With more than 12 million disused mobile phones cluttering homes and offices around Australia, a major initiative was launched today to "round 'em up and hand 'em in" for recycling.

More than 90 per cent of the materials in mobile phone handsets, batteries and accessories can be recycled and the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (AMTA) has introduced the MobileMuster program to provide mobile phone users with a simple and free recycling solution.

"Materials like plastics, silver, gold and nickel can be extracted from mobile phone products and turned into everything from fence posts to jewellery", said Rose Read, Manager of AMTA's national recycling program.

"It is estimated that there is 1kg of gold contained in every 50,000 handsets.

With more than 12 million disused phones lying around people's homes and offices this is a very sustainable way to extract gold and other precious metals.

"We are urging people to recycle their old mobiles when they clean out their drawers and not put them in the rubbish bin." she added.

"Mobile phones do not pose a huge environmental hazard but they are not biodegradable and should not end up in landfill. By recycling our old mobile phones, batteries and accessories we are saving valuable resources and protecting the environment" Ms Read said.

"Our goal is to boost community awareness, increase recycling volumes and decrease the number of mobiles going to waste. We want to treble our annual collections over the next three years from 60 tonnes to 180 tonnes per year. That's about 1 million handsets and batteries in 2008.

"With thousands of Australians likely to receive new mobile phones this Christmas, it is the perfect time for Australians to recycle their pre-loved phones, batteries and accessories at any one of the 1,000 plus mobile phone retail stores across Australia, just look for the MobileMuster logo.

"That's more MobileMuster collection points than McDonald's restaurants, making mobile phone recycling simple and easy.

Ms Read explained this is the only whole-of-industry e-waste recycling campaign of its kind in the world.

"We have received enormous support from nearly every mobile phone provider and manufacturer in Australia demonstrating the industry's strong commitment to delivering long term environmentally sustainable solutions."

Local businesses, schools and associations are also being invited to join the MobileMuster by running their own muster at work, school or in their local community.

To find your nearest MobileMuster collection point or to run your own MobileMuster visit www.mobilemuster.com.au or call 1300 730 070.

 

For further information please contact: Rose Read AMTA 02 6239 6555 rose.read@amta.org.au

WAYS TO RECYCLE