Most materials that go into making a mobile phone can be recycled. However research by the mobile phone industry’s official recycling program MobileMuster has shown that around 19 million defunct mobile phones are not in fact recycled. While the study shows that the majority of owners would be happy to drop their old mobiles into a recycling bin, rather than in the rubbish bin it appears that most are unsure about how to delete and save their stored data, and are concerned about access of their private information.
To help allay these concerns the manager of MobileMuster, Rose Read, assures people that all old phones and sim cards passed into their recycling bins are completely destroyed during the recycling process. “Every mobile phone and accessory is dismantled here in Australia prior to being processed for material recovery. None are refurbished or resold,” Ms Read says.
However for those who remain unconvinced, but who would otherwise be happy to recycle their old mobile phones, deleting and saving stored information is as simple as getting onto the phone manufacturer’s website, or calling their help-line for guidance on how to delete, save or transfer the data.
With 250,000 mobile phones and components equating to around 48,000 aluminium cans, 2,400 plastic fence posts, and gold, silver and stainless items that would otherwise take around 730 tonnes of gold ore, 808 tonnes of silver ore and 178 tonnes of copper sulphide to make, it is obviously a good idea to learn how to remove the data from your mobile phone, or transfer it to your new phone, rather than keep a clutter of unusable technology.
Mobile Muster usually has a number of drop-off points in various shops around town for old mobiles. Alternatively, you can pick up a free satchel and label from your nearest post office and mail your own parcel so that your mobile will be recycled.
- P Edwards