Australians seem reluctant to recycle their mobile phones. The national MobileMuster initiative runs annually and this year started at the beginning of May running through to June 5, which is World Environment Day. However, with only 11 days left the organisers say there has been a disappointing response. The target is 30,000 kg but only 5000 kg, about 16,000 phones, have been collected so far across Australia. The organisers are exhorting consumers to dig out their old phones and send them in, with the reminder that MobileMuster will plant one tree for every kilogram of phones collected.
In Western Australia (WA) alone, there are estimated to be 1.6 million redundant mobile phones that could be collected and recycled. There are increasing salinity worries in the Wallatin and O’Brien catchments of the Kelleberrin Shire of the Central Eastern Wheatbelt and the target in WA is to plant 7500 mallee trees in these catchments to arrest these issues. The importance of doing so is underlined by the fact that 65% of the country’s wheat supplies come from the area.
The incentive for city and town dwellers from Perth to Port Hedland in recycling their old phones is that their actions can contribute to the improved security and health of a nationally important cattle and grain growing area.