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MobileMuster recycles all mobile phone components, including all brands of handsets, along with their batteries, chargers and accessories. Free of charge. Find out more.
Mobile phones, landline phones, chargers, and mobile accessories should never be put in your household recycling bin. They can be recycled, but only when dropped off at designated collection points.
Australia has a national recycling scheme for mobile phones that also accepts mobile phone batteries, accessories, landline phones, and other electronic items (see below). Run by not-for-profit MobileMuster, there are more than 3,000 drop-off locations across the country and a free mailing service.
How to recycle your mobile phone
Did you know there are currently 26 million unused mobile phones stored in homes across Australia and about four million of these are unusable? If your mobile phone is still working, consider extending its life by either selling it online or passing it on to a friend or family member. If it no longer works or is no longer wanted, then it’s time to recycle it.
Recycling your old or broken mobile phone is easy, with more than 3,000 free public drop-off points across Australia. Recycling points include major phone retailers such as Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone, as well as Woolworths and Officeworks stores.
Alternatively, you can post your mobile phones and accessories to MobileMuster for free by picking up a pre-paid satchel at participating Australia Post or JB Hi-Fi stores, or directly through MobileMuster. Pre-paid labels are also available through MobileMuster if you would prefer to use your own packaging.
Getting your mobile ready - Data Management
Before you recycle, sell, or give away your mobile phone, you should remove all personal information. If you are unable to remove the personal information from the phone, it can still be recycled. Any data left on the phone will be destroyed during the recycling process.
MobileMuster has step-by-step videos and helpful guides for removing data from both Android and iOS (iPhone) devices.
Why Should I Recycle My Mobile?
More than 95% of the materials in mobile phones (like metals, plastic, and glass) can be recovered and used to make new products. Recycling keeps these materials in use and out of landfill, preventing hazardous items like mobile phone batteries from leaching toxic materials into the soil and groundwater.
When you recycle, you are also reducing the need to extract new materials like precious metals from the earth, saving our natural resources in the process. Additionally, recycling prevents pollution and improves air quality by reducing the demand for power used in mining, refining, processing, and shipping of raw materials.
According to MobileMuster, recycling 50,000 mobiles saves 99 tonnes of mineral resources and 19 tonnes of CO2-e emissions. To find out how much impact you’re making from recycling your phone, visit the MobileMuster Calculator.
What happens to my mobile when I recycle it?
Mobile phones, accessories, and other accepted electronic items collected by MobileMuster are transported to one of two recycling facilities in Sydney and Melbourne. Products are dismantled manually with components separated into different streams: circuit boards, metal, glass, plastics, and batteries.
Some plastics and metals are processed in Australia, while circuit boards, batteries, and other plastics are processed by MobileMuster’s recycling partner at their facility in Singapore. These materials are recovered and used to make a range of new products including mobile phones, glass bottles, recycled plastic park benches, electronics, mobile phone batteries, and stainless-steel products.
Nothing the program collects is reused or resold. MobileMuster’s priority is to recover the majority of materials to use in the manufacture of new products.
How to Recycle mobiles at work
There are some recycling companies that offer collection and drop-off services for commercial quantities of mobile phones. To find a commercial mobile phone recycler for your workplace or business, visit Business Recycling.
MobileMuster offers a one-off pick-up service for businesses across the country, accepting all brands of mobile phones, their charges and accessories, smart watches, VR headsets, and mobile broadband devices. To book a one-off collection, contact MobileMuster at email@example.com or call 1800 249 113.
MobileMuster partners with retailers, repair stores, local councils, and workplaces across Australia to make it easy and accessible for the community to recycle. Find out if your workplace or business can register for a free collection unit that can be used to promote mobile phone recycling to your staff and customers.
MobileMuster is funded voluntarily by major handset manufacturers and network carriers to provide a free mobile phone recycling program. It was established in 1998 and is accredited by the Federal Government. When you recycle through MobileMuster:
- You are recycling through a carbon neutral program
- Everything collected is recycled to the highest environmental standard
- Nothing is ever reused or resold
- Any data left on devices is destroyed in the recycling process.
MobileMuster accepts a range of electronics for recycling including modems, routers, landline phones, smart speakers, smart watches, smart pens, TV streaming devices, tracking tags, and some VR headsets. For more information visit, MobileMuster or call 1800 249 113.
Find out more about buying, selling, and repairing old mobile phones with phonecycle.