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Mobile phone drop off box gets a big tick

Old, used and unwanted mobiles have been recycled at an encouraging rate in the Lands Building – as part of a program giving new life to old phones.

Staff and visitors to the Lands Building in Hobart have helped to collect more than 30 kilograms of mobile phones and accessories for recycling over the past year.

The MobileMuster collection facility sits in the foyer of the Lands Building. It was previously located within the Service Tasmania office.

Sustainable Communities Officer in the EPA Division Maree Bakker empties the recycling box about three times a year on average.

"It is really heartening to see so many people choosing to recycle their old mobile phones," Maree said.

In the year up until June 2011, 31 kilograms of mobile phones and accessories were collected for recycling from the Lands Building MobileMuster collection point. MobileMuster is the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry.

All mobiles collected by MobileMuster are dismantled, sorted and separated into circuit boards, batteries, handsets and accessories. More than 90 percent of the materials in mobile phones can be recovered.

The metals are extracted and one tonne of circuit boards can yield about the same amount of precious metals as 110 tonnes of gold ore; 123 tonnes of silver bearing ore and 11 tonnes of copper sulphide ore.

The plastics are shredded and the batteries are sorted by type for cadmium and nickel recovery. The materials recovered can be used to make new batteries, fence posts, jewellery, plastic pallets and stainless steel.

"It is a good news story, but are there more unused phones lurking in anyone’s cupboards and drawers? Bring them in if they are not being re-used," Maree said.

"I’d also like to thank Lands Building Security Officer Galvin Miller for his assistance in guiding people to the right place in the foyer."

If anyone would like a mobile phone collection facility in their office building, they can call MobileMuster on 1300 730 070