For many of us, the start of a new year signifies a time to de-clutter, detox. (Thanks Gywneth). That includes E-waste too.
When we update with new tech devices for Christmas it’s easy to find we’re swamped with unused, outdated and broken devices that we could only use if we were starting a new civilisation on Mars… stranded with the cast of Gilligan’s Island.
E-waste is a massive problem in Australia but it hardly crosses the radar. We leave our old, outdated tech devices to collect dust in the unexplored depths of our cupboards and drawers “just in case”. But, c’mon, you don’t actually need that old Nokia E70. It’s never coming back into fashion. May as well use it to prop up a wonky table leg. When was the last time you needed a back-up for your back-up mobile phone?
Happily, MobileMuster – Australia’s official, not-for-profit, government accredited, mobile phone recycling program – is willing to take those ugly, useless old devices away.
MobileMuster estimates there are 23 million old mobiles lying around Aussie homes: “If we stacked every old unused mobile one on top of the other they would reach past the International Space Station, literally out of this world,” says Rose Read, Recycling Manager from MobileMuster- who, clearly, has too much time on her hands.
E-waste is our fastest growing waste problem – filling up our homes and landfill three times faster than, well, all the other crap we have. The worst part about that is that 90% of the metals and plastics that make up our discarded tech gear are recyclable and can be used to make new devices, lessening the need to mine non-renewable resources.
According to MobileMuster, if we all pitch in and recycle out mobiles, we could save over 140,000 tonnes of silver, gold and copper and 397 tonnes of plastic that would have been needed to make non-recycled devices, plus, the green house gasses savings would amount to 120,000 trees.
If we could put Gina, Twiggy, Clive et. al out of a gig… would you do it?
If that’s not reason enough, MobileMuster have promised to donate $2 to the Salvation Army for every kilo recycled this December and January through their Old Phones for Good campaign.
Here are MobileMuster’s top five tips for ridding yourself of tech clutter once and for all:
1. Have a game plan and organise what you have: Knowing how many spare chargers, adapters and handsets you have will prevent you from making unnecessary purchases. Why buy more items than you need?
2. Be ruthless: Will you ever use that circa 2007 old CDMA mobile handset again? Probably not, as it doesn’t work on any of the current networks, its time to recycle it.
3. Your electronics have value: Know that your old electronics have value – but not always in the way you think! They are worthless and a waste gathering dust at home. If you can’t sell them online or trade them in, recycle them as 90% of their materials will be recovered and used to make new objects, saving our environment and employing people.
4. Remember, it’s easy: Recycling with MobileMuster is simple and free – go to mobilemuster.com.au to find out how and where to recycle your old mobiles and accessories, for all your other electronics either pick up an e-waste recycling box at your nearest Storage King store or go to recyclingnearyou.com.au to find your nearest drop off point.
5. You’re making a difference: Knowing the positive impact of recycling can be really motivating. Recycling lessens the need to mine non-renewable resources and significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Not to mention protecting our environment and employing people.
What are you waiting for? That old Nokia won’t ping that it should be EXTERMINATED! Get onto Mobile Muster and make your old stuff useful!