Over 95% of the materials in mobile phones can be recovered and used as raw materials for new products. This reduces the demand on natural resources and environmental contamination from landfill.
Mobile phones contain commercially valuable materials such as gold, silver, copper, nickel and plastics. They also contain some materials that would be hazardous to the environment if put into landfill, such as cadmium. Recycling unwanted mobile phones keeps these hazardous materials out of the environment and also reduces the need to extract more of our natural resources. Mobile phone recycling is a free national service, and in some cases can also raise funds for charitable organisations.
MobileMuster is the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry in Australia. It's a not-for-profit program, funded solely by its members who pay a levy on every handset imported into Australia. Workplaces can register for a collection bin.
There are also a number of organisations that run mobile phone recycling programs to help raise money for various charities. Mobile phones and their accessories are accepted.
Unwanted mobile phones are recycled by separating them into components for resource recovery.
The plastics are processed in Australia while the batteries and mobile phone circuits are processed offshore. When the components are extracted they are sold by recyclers to manufacturers for use as raw materials in the production of new products.