Students learn about mobile recycling and help protect chimpanzee habitats

Posted July 1, 2016

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At the start of the year more than 70 schools and 36,000 students joined MobileMuster and the Roots & Shoots school program to learn about mobile phone recycling and raise awareness of the work that Jane Goodall Institute does to help protect great ape habitats in Africa.

As well as raising awareness and educating the next generation about sustainability, the participating schools collected more than 100 kilograms of mobile phones for recycling. Leichhardt Public School in Sydney was the official top collector of the campaign and managed to collect over 16kg of mobile phones and accessories. The school students and teachers were very excited to receive their recycling certificate and learn about how their contribution made a difference.

Leichhardt School

Image credit: Leichhardt Public School

Based on our recycling calculator the mobiles collected during the campaign enabled us to recover and reuse 54 kilograms of plastic, 4 grams of gold, 25 grams of silver and 11 kilograms of copper. From these materials, 172 aluminum cans and 18 plastic fence posts can be made. In addition to recycling materials and keeping phones out of the waste stream, the students’ efforts have saved three tonnes of ore from being mined and a tonne of CO2 emissions from being released which is the equivalent of planting six new trees.

The education program ran across Australia through Term 1 and 2 and helped educate students about the importance of responsible reuse and recycling, plus how their actions can help conserve critical forest habitats in Africa where chimpanzees and other great apes live.  It was a collaboration between the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA) Roots & Shoots program, MobileMuster, the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry in Australia, and Bounce Mobile as the re-use partner.

For more information on MobileMuster school program and education resources, click here.