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Australians have taken to mobile phone recycling with great enthusiasm, with collection volumes from retail outlets for January up by 50 percent on previous months

Posted March 28, 2006

Australians have taken to mobile phone recycling with great enthusiasm, with collection volumes from retail outlets for January up by 50 percent on previous months.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) launched its national mobile phone recycling campaign - MobileMuster - in December, with its aim to treble the annual collection of mobile phones, batteries and accessories over the next three years from 60 tonnes to 180 tonnes per year and halve the number going to landfill by 2008.

It is estimated there are currently more than 12 million disused mobile phones cluttering people's homes and offices around Australia.

"The MobileMuster program was introduced to provide mobile phone users with a simple and free recycling solution," said Rose Read, Manager of AMTA's national recycling program. "The program has been very well received with collection volumes from retailers in January up by 50 percent compared to previous months - this is a great first step but we still have a way to go to achieving our targets".

"Before we launched the program, we found that many Australians didn't realise they could recycle their mobile phones and that more than 90 percent of the plastics and metals in their phones - such as silver and gold - could be recovered and used to make other products.

"The response from mobile phone retailers has been excellent, and we are now calling on all big business, local councils, schools and universities to get involved and help collect mobile phones for recycling by running their own mobilemuster at work, school or in their local community," Ms Read said.

Mobile phones are not biodegradable and should not end up in landfill. Australians are beginning to understand that by recycling their old mobile phones, batteries and accessories they are reducing the strain on natural resources and protecting the environment.

Ms Read explained this is the only whole-of-industry and local and federal government supported 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".

The industry's first quarterly report on Mobilemuster including collection volumes, consumer awareness and behaviour changes will be issued in the second half of April 2006.

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 8920 3555
rose.read@amta.org.au

WAYS TO RECYCLE