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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are mobile phones harmful to the environment?
Why is re-using phones preferred to recycling ?
What happens to the phones that are reused?
How are the phones recycled?
What happens to the phone once it is returned?
Do I include my battery in returning my phone for recycling?
Can my SIM Card be recycled?
What will happen to any personal information left on the phone?
The return satchel says not to inlcude the charger. What do I do with the charger?
How will the donation to Clean Up Australia be spent?
Can I recycle landline or cordless phones?
How can Clean Up Australia help me organise a collection of mobile phones?


Why are mobile phones harmful to the environment?

Mobile phones are made up of many toxic substances. The elements contained in a mobile phone include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc. These poisonous substances can leach from decomposing waste in landfill and seep into groundwater, contaminate the soil and enter the food chain. While these substances appear in a relatively small amount in a single mobile phone, consider the scale of the problem with 5.3 billion people worldwide (24.22 million in Australia)* using and disposing of mobile phones on average every 12-18 months.

Why is re-using phones preferred to recycling?

Avoidance is the first and most important environmental principal, particularly when it comes to waste. By re-using items such as mobile phones, you have avoided the need to produce a new one. Where phones cannot be re-used, recycling is an important step towards waste reduction. The energy and raw materials used to produce millions of new mobile phones contributes to CO2 emissions and global warming.

According to the Basel Convention and the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) guidance document published in November 2006 it is believed that "Re-use, directly or via repair or refurbishment is usually the preferable option over recycling and disposal from an environmental perspective. Re-use can extend product life and means less environmentally damaging extraction, less energy consumption and less waste. Re-use of second-hand equipment can also often mean a lower price for products, thus increasing accessibility for more people who might not otherwise be able to afford the product."

By re-using and recycling components of old phones, the overall environmental impact of this waste stream can be minimised.

 

What happens to the phone once it is returned?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

What happens to the phones which are reused?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

How are the phones recycled?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

Do I include my battery in returning my phone for recycling?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

Can my SIM Card be recycled?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

What will happen to any personal information left on the phone?

You should remove any personal information on YOUR phone before recycling it. If the phone is still working, the information is cleared when the phone is refurbished so personal information will not be disclosed to any other party.

The return satchel says not to include the charger. What do I do with the charger?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

How will the donation to Clean Up Australia be spent?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED

Can I recycle landline or cordless phones?

They can be recycled, however, they cannot be recycled through the Clean Up Mobile Phone Campaign. Any appliance with plugins can be recycled through an e-waste recycler. In these cases a charge may be incurred due to the amount of labour required to detatch the various parts. Click here for a list of e-waste recyclers, or alternatively speak to your local council as they sometimes organise free e-waste drop off days.

How can Clean Up Australia help me organise a collection of mobile phones?

THE COLLECTION SERVICE IS ON HOLD - PLEASE STAY TUNED
 
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