Mobile Phone Recycling Facts

Filed under How-To Centre

Key mobile phone recycling facts (figures current at 31 March 2009)

  • There are over 21 million mobile phone subscribers
  • There are over 3,500 MobileMuster collection points across Australia, including Nokia Care and Motorola Service One Centres; mobile phone retailers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Crazy Johns, Fone Zone, Allphones as well as participating local councils, Cartridge World stores and selected ANZ* and Sydney Credit Union branches     (*Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra)
  • Australians upgrade or exchange their mobile phones every 18 to 24 months
  • 80% of people choose to keep or give away their old mobile phones, less than 4% throw them out
  • Net imports of mobile phones into Australia for 2007/08 were 8.9 million units. This is equivalent to 1,774 tonnes (assuming average unit weight of 200g – handset, battery, charger and accessory included)
  • In 2007/2008 MobileMuster collected 97 tonnes of mobile phone components including 755,200 handsets and batteries
  • 582 tonnes of handsets, batteries, chargers and accessories have been collected since the recycling program was initiated by AMTA in 1999. This includes 4.01 million batteries and handsets
  • One tonne of mobile phone circuits can yield the same amount of precious metals as 110 tonnes of gold ore, 123 tonnes of silver bearing ore and 11 tonnes of copper sulphide ore
  • Mobile phones are not biodegradable and contain small amounts of potentially harmful substances which if not managed properly may harm the environment
  • MobileMuster is a whole of industry not for profit program that is funded voluntarily by handset and accessory manufacturers Nokia, Motorola, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony Ericsson, Sharp, I-Mate, Force Technology and network carriers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, Virgin Mobile and AAPT
  • All recycling of mobile phone components is to the highest environmental standards. None of the mobiles are refurbished or resold.