Mobile phone recycling is taking off in Bendigo, according to a survey of phone retailers conducted this week by Environment Victoria, the state’s leading environment group.
Environment Victoria Zero Waste Campaign Director Jenny Henty surveyed 10 Bendigo mobile phone retailers for the study.
“Some of the stores, such as Vodaphone, have jumped on board and are doing a great job promoting mobile phone recycling,” she said. “But others are dragging their feet and need to improve.”
Ms Henty said mobile phones contained hazardous materials including arsenic, cadmium, lead and heavy metals that have been linked to cancer and a range of reproductive, neurological and developmental disorders.
“It is crucial that dead mobile phones are kept out of landfill,” said Ms Henty.
Around 17 million Australians use mobile phones and exchange them on average every 18-24 months. “When the 12 million phones currently stored are added to those about to be made obsolete, we’re looking at a growing mountain of at least 29 million end-of-life mobiles which could end up in landfills,” Ms Henty said.
Ms Henty said it was vital that governments set ambitious recovery targets for the mobile phone industry to drive greater participation in MobileMuster – the industry’s official recycling program re-launched in December 2005.
“Four out of Bendigo’s 10 mobile phone retailers are taking part, but we’d like to see all of them supporting recycling,” Ms Henty said.
The survey, conducted on May 2, checked Bendigo mobile phone retailers’ involvement in the mobilemuster recycling scheme including:
Ms Henty is a guest speaker at this weekend’s EcoV festival and will be conducting a consumer survey across the weekend to gauge awareness of, and support for, mobile phone recycling.
See www.ecov.net.au for more information.