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Mobile muster

Gifting yourself the latest smartphone this month? Think twice before tossing your old cellphone away.

Mobile muster

The launch of the latest iPhone has already caused a frenzy of interest among Australians. But what happens to all the “old”, now unwanted phones? According to research there are more than 22 million unused mobile phones in Australia – that’s around one for every person in the country.

“Most Australians hold onto their old mobile ‘just in case they need it’ but given that the majority of these old mobiles are considered to be outdated, and potentially pre-smartphone, Aussies are just holding onto old technology they are unlikely to ever use again,” says Rose Read, recycling manager for MobileMuster, the industry-funded recycling programme for mobile phones. She’s calling on all Aussies to dig into their drawers at home and work and drop their obsolete mobile phones off at one of the more than 4000 MobileMuster drop-off points around Australia, or by going online and downloading a reply-paid mailing label to post the unused devices for free.

“It is much better to recycle any obsolete mobiles than leave them lying around at home,” says Read. More than 90 per cent of materials inside a mobile phone can be recovered and made into new products.

Last year’s phone recycling efforts lessened the need to mine 1165 tonnes of precious metal ore. So before you rush off to secure the latest model phone for your loved one this gift-giving season, make sure you visit and discard your old model safely.

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