A Mobile Xmas Present for the Environment

A Mobile Xmas Present for the Environment

People getting a new mobile phone as a present this Christmas should consider putting the old one in a recycling bin to ensure it is disposed of safely.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association’s (AMTA) Manager, Business Development, Glenn Brown said the mobile industry recycled a record number of handsets, batteries and accessories in the past four months and is on track to reach a total of 300 tonnes by the end of this year.

The Mobile Phone Industry Recycling Program recycled 30.8 tonnes of handsets, batteries and accessories in the past four months to the end of October, taking the total tonnage to 280 tonnes since the program started full-scale recycling in late 2000.

The program, administered by AMTA, is free to consumers and has prevented the toxic waste of 1.5 million batteries and handsets being dumped in landfills.

Mr Brown said: “The recycling program is processing record volumes. But we can do more.

“One of the barriers to recycling more old handsets is the reluctance by some consumers to give up their old mobile phones. They tuck them away for safe keeping in the bottom drawer.

“When it comes time to get rid of their mobile, we encourage people to place them in one of the more than 1600 recycling bins around Australia.

“The mobile phone industry in Australia is undertaking an extensive review of consumer attitudes and behaviour to find ways of encouraging them to recycle their old handsets.

“If people are getting a new mobile as a present this Christmas they should consider placing the old one in a recycling bin to ensure it is disposed of safely.”

There are more than 1600 recycling drop-off points operated by phone retailers around Australia. To locate the nearest participating retailer for collection of mobile phones call 1300 730 070 or go to the Recycling Drop Off Locater at www.phonerecycling.com.au and type in your own postcode.

The mobile phone recycling process recovers marketable products:

Nickel – used in the production of steel

Cadmium – used in new batteries

Gold and Copper – extracted in small amounts for a variety of uses

For more information about the Mobile Phone Industry Recycling Program please look at the AMTA website: www.amta.org.au