CASE STUDIESMobilemuster _web _07

We have put together some case studies on workplaces who have partnered with MobileMuster to collect and recycle their old mobile phones, batteries and accessories.

Transperth - Recycling in the public transport sector

With the increase in mobile phone usage, the number of lost phones has grown rapidly within the transport sector contributing to Australia’s e-waste issue, which is growing three times faster than any other waste issue nation-wide. Due to the possible sensitive nature of personal data carried on mobile phones, a reliable, secure and environmentally sound way of disposing of the phones is required – and workplaces play a major role here in educating and making it easy for their staff and customers to do so.

In August 2013, Transperth – the name behind the public transport system servicing Perth partnered with MobileMuster to tackle the problem of e-waste. Carrying over 100 million passengers per annum, Transperth handles a significant number of lost property items, and consequently sought to arrange a number of locations through the public transport system to be established as approved collection points for unclaimed mobile phones with MobileMuster. Using this system, lost mobile phones are recorded and if they remain unclaimed for a period of 30 days, the phones are transferred to an approved MobileMuster location.

How it works

All mobile phones moved within the lost property system are tracked and remain attached to the Lost Property ID Receipt issued by the System.  A summary list is then generated on collection by MobileMuster, which is then validated by Transperth against the mobile phone ID. Once processed by MobileMuster, Transperth receives signed-off documentation indicating that everything received has been processed for resource recovery, ensuring any data left on the devices has been destroyed. The organisation has recycled over 510kg of mobile phone components in the past two years with MobileMuster and has been awarded the ‘Top Workplace Recycler’ award in Western Australia for two years running.

Video credit: Transperth at a Glance.

Dentsu Aegis - Incentivising the workplace to recycle

Dentsu Aegis Network is one of the largest marketing communications groups in Australia. It recognises that sustainability is an increasingly important consideration for their business, employees and investors. They decided to run a muster at their workplace, over a couple of weeks encouraging their employees to recycle their old mobiles phones and accessories in a sustainable way.

Dentsu Image

The muster has synergies with their overall workplace sustainability strategy. “We pride ourselves on being a green-office and by introducing these initiatives reinforces that,” said Dentsu Aegis Network, Media Executive, Cassandra Do Carmo.

The great results achieved in the workplace Muster was encouraged by the incentives offered by Dentsu Aegis Network. Employees who brought in their old and unused mobile phones received raffle tickets in exchange for the recycled items and went in the draw to win gift vouches. The response from the employees was really positive and five gift vouchers were rewarded. “We have had many tell us what a great idea it is in response to our emails about the campaign,” said Cassandra Do Carmo.

How to plan for success:

  1. Make it visible. Set up your MobileMuster collection box somewhere central, where you receive high volumes of traffic. At Dentsu Aegis the collection box was located in the offices Reception area which meant that their employees as well as clients and external visitors were aware of their efforts to be a more sustainable office.
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Dentsu Aegis sent several communications out to their staff. They publicised the collection in their fortnightly e-blast and several more casual messages from our admin team to remind people of the scheme and the timeframes. They set up MobileMuster posters and pamphlets in areas around the workplace where employees congregate which were really useful to promote the event.

  3. Ask for help. The MobileMuster team can offer advice and provide workplaces with materials to help you to promote your MobileMuster event. MobileMuster provided Dentsu Aegis with a branded banner which was erected in the Reception area along with their MobileMuster collection box.

Kimberly-Clark Australia  

Kimberly-Clark Australia, who makes health and hygiene products like Kleenex and Huggies, is one organisation that recognised safe and responsible disposal of old mobile phones as being a key focus area within their office sustainability program.

"We first started setting proactive and measureable environmental targets to reduce natural resource consumption in 1995, however more recently we received feedback from our office based employees that they'd like us to expand our waste reduction strategy to also include recycling of electronic waste," said Kimberly-Clark Australia's, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Jacqueline Fegent-McGeachie.

"We reached out to not-for-profit mobile phone recycler, MobileMuster who helped us develop an employee e-waste recycling program to divert old mobile phone's from landfill," said added Fegent-McGeachie.

Partnering with MobileMuster has helped Kimberly-Clark Australia recycle 20kgs of mobile phone components since joining the program in 2011 and has contributed to its goal of increasing electronic waste recycling by 10% by 2015.

Mater Health Services

Mater Health Services  - with over 7,000 employees - specifically wanted to work with a mobile phone recycler that shared it's values, "MobileMuster aligns closely with our sustainability initiatives at Mater and we are embarking on a variety of campaigns to encourage both awareness and behavioural change, " said Chris Hill, Director Environmental Sustainability for Mater Health Services.


Mater Health Services also used a range of staff engagement tools to successfully deliver the campaign throughout the business, "We know that the key to a successful campaign is effectively communicating and engaging with staff, said Hill.

"Many of our staff do not have regular computer access, so the success of our sustainability campaigns hinge off the use of targeted strategies - MobileMuster worked really well, as the physical drop-off points within the business allowed staff without computer access to become aware of and participate in the program."

Partnering with external waste management providers, such as MobileMuster, has also seen Mater Health Services exceed their expectations for waste reduction and recycling uptakes, "We have recycling targets in place and are currently exceeding these targets," concluded Hill.

For more information about how your business can partner with a mobile phone recycling program and reduce your business e-waste burden and footprint contact Spyro Kolofotias on 02 8920 3555 or to learn more go to

Suncorp Group

Suncorp Group have seen the benefits of partnering with an e-waste recycler. Being a top 20 ASX-listed company in Australia, with about 16,000 employees, Suncorp saw a great opportunity to take a leadership position in being responsible for the disposal of their mobile devices and giving employees an option for safe recycling.

As with many product-related sustainable business outcomes, the procurement or purchasing role within the organisation plays a crucial role in the identification of a waste problem and the solution, "Our purchasing team are responsible for the ordering of mobile devices, along with the disposal, and didn't want to see any of those old mobiles ending up in the bin," said Rebecca Stone, Corporate Affairs Adviser for Suncorp Group.

"When choosing who to recycle with - simplicity was key - being provided all of the information and tools to make the disposal and pick-up easy," further commented Stone.

Suncorp Group provides many of its employees with company mobiles and at the end of the devices life all mobiles are returned for wiping and then recycled.

"Ensuring the security and safety of business data is an important concern when considering where and how you recycle your old electronic gadgets - it can even be a matter of privacy law to protect sensitive materials and data," said Rose Read, Recycling Manager for MobileMuster.

"Unlike services that refurbish mobile phones, at MobileMuster every single mobile is dismantled and smelted down to its core components in the recycling progress ensuring that no data could ever be recovered,"

"But that does mean you need to ensure that any data you want to save is removed prior to recycling - and for many businesses if it is possible to wipe the data as well, this is good recommended practice," added Read.

First National 

As an extension to its energy efficiency and sustainability drive, First National Real Estate is continuing its partnership with MobileMuster to help keep old mobiles and accessories out of landfill.

Mobile phone users are therefore able to drop their old mobile phones and accessories at more than 450 First National branches around the country for recycling.

First National first called upon all its members and their local communities to support the MobleMuster pledge in 2011.

Right now there are over 22 million unwanted mobile phones in people's drawers and cupboards across Australia. That's the equivalent of 2,200 tonnes of metals and plastics just waiting to be recycled.  By recycling your old mobile, you're avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, protecting the environment and conserving scarce natural resources.

If each staff member at First National Real Estate recycled at least one old mobile, their combined efforts could potentially see as many as 7,500 mobile phones recycled in a year.

First National Real Estate recognises that energy efficiency and sustainable living starts at home.  Moving into your new home is the ideal time to round up those old mobiles and accessories in drawers and cupboards and recycle them with MobileMuster.

MobileMuster is a not for profit programme, voluntarily funded by most handset manufacturers and all network carriers.  It's the industry's product stewardship programme providing mobile users across Australia with access to a free recycling service.  This enables everyone to play their part in keeping old mobiles out of landfill.

Since MobileMuster began in 1999 it has collected 806 tonnes of old mobile phones, batteries and accessories, recycling over 90 per cent of the materials in them and keeping them out of landfill.

  Recognising the recycling efforts of workplaces