After re-launching the OneTouch brand here in Australia, Alcatel has been on somewhat of a roll of late. We’ve seen their handsets popping up on Optus as pre-paid devices, and we expect to see them elsewhere quite soon. As another part of their strategy, the company has joined forces with Mobile Muster, the mobile telecommunications industry’s not-for-profit, government-accredited recycling program.
The partnership which was announced yesterday, will see Alcatel join other heavyweights in the Australian mobile telecommunications landscape such as Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, ZTE and the major Australian network operators Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile in pushing users to recycle their old mobile technology.
Alcatel OneTouch Regional Managing Director Sam Skontos said:
We are proud to be part of this world-leading, industry-funded recycling program. It is the only government-accredited mobile phone recycling program in Australia, giving us great confidence that our mobiles, batteries and accessories, once they have finished their useful life, will be recycled to the highest environmental standards. We also believe that working in collaboration with our fellow handset manufacturers and network operators is the most effective way to provide our customers with a nationwide, free, simple and accessible recycling solution.
The aim of Mobile Muster is to keep mobile technology – phones, tablets, batteries etc out of landfill. Since the inception of Mobile Muster in 1998, the group has diverted more than 1,000 tonnes of mobiles and accessories from landfill, including 8.8 million handsets and batteries and more than 550 tonnes of accessories – or in more environmentally friendly terms, it’s the equivalent of planting over 50,000 trees or taking 2,400 cars off the road.
MobileMuster is not-for-profit, this means that revenue generated isn’t kept by some faceless corporation profiting from the donation of your old mobile phone. The revenue generated goes towards community education and helping people in need. You can also rest assured that if you donate your mobile phone, that the data is destroyed.
MobileMuster also recommends if your old phone is working – to give it to someone who can use it. But, if it’s beyond repair, it can be recycled.
The actual recycling process sees old devices and accessories sorted, with batteries, circuit boards and casings all being separated. Batteries are shipped to either Singapore to have their components re-used or to Korea to have their components made into stainless steel, new batteries or copper, while circuit boards are sent to Singapore where they are stripped of precious metals including gold, silver, copper and lead.
Casings for phones and accessories are for the most part shredded and made into a variety of products like shipping pallets, composite plastic fence posts or plastic wood planks for garden beds/furniture.
It’s all pretty neat stuff and saves the environment – something to think about with all those old handsets lying around. To find out where you can donate your old mobile phone, head over to the MobileMuster website for more information.