Councils in Australia Tackling E-Waste Problem

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 at 10:08 am

Local councils in Australia were given recognition last week through the MobileMuster Local Government Awards. In the past year, councils helped recycle 3,274kg of old mobile phones and accessories, including 24,000 handsets and batteries.   Councils are now being offered more incentives to recycle, with the promise  of $2.20 for every kg of mobile phone components collected in a new trial.

MobileMuster is a not-for-profit recycling program.  The Local Government Awards began in 2007, “to recognise the outstanding efforts by local councils in promoting and collecting mobile phones, batteries and accessories for recycling”.

MobileMuster was established in 1999 and since then they have stopped over 667 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories, including 4.48 million handsets, from being sent to landfill.   They estimate that a further 16 million old mobile phones are still out there in people’s homes that could be recycled.

Over 90% of a mobile phone and its accessories can be recycled to make new products including new batteries, fence posts and jewellery.

Rose Read, from MobileMuster says:  “By offering and promoting a free e-waste recycling program, such as MobileMuster, councils are helping to ensure that potentially harmful substances do not go into landfill and precious metals and materials are recovered and reused,”

She says that the funds offered in the new incentive will help councils promote and streamline e-waste collection services.

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