Cairns Takes Home the Award for Queensland’s Top Collector

Cairns Regional Council have now earned the award for Queensland’s top collector in the Mobile MobileMuster Local Government Awards. Cairns residents alone have recycled a whopping 156kg’s of mobile phones this year. Impressively, 95% of the material from old phones and accessories get recycled. Then manufacturers can use the materials to make new products. However, there are about 24.5 million unused phones stashed across Australia. This means there are more old phones in Australia than there are people!

In 1998 the mobile phone industry and the federal government launched the MobileMuster program in Australia. The program is a a free mobile phone recycling program. Its goal was to raise awareness and help everyone understand the importance of recycling. Since then the program has collected and then recycled almost 1,500 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories, including over 14 million batteries and handsets. That’s almost the weight of 250 African elephants, or about 400 times as heavy as a Hippopotamus!

Our Mayor, Bob Manning, has been involved in the recycling program for over 10 years. “We congratulate Council’s waste management teams, library officers, and Cairns residents for their commitment to community-based recycling programs like MobileMuster,” he says.

“Recycling has many benefits, including reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill, protecting the environment and economic savings.”

Next time you want to throw away your old phones, make sure you put them towards recycling. Most of the glass, plastic and metal in our phones is re-usable, and the Council offers kerbside recycling every fortnight.

People can drop phones off at Council libraries, Council’s Customer Service Centre or transfer stations for FREE. Transfer stations accept electronics, audio/electrical cables, certain TV’s, computers, tablets and printer cartridges. Libraries accept batteries.

 Cairns Regional Council recycling numbers (2018/19 financial year):

  • 150 tonnes of e-waste, which includes computers, cables and televisions as well as mobile phones.
  • 3708 tonnes of scrap metal and white goods.
  • 106 tonnes of batteries.
  • 849 tonnes of crushed glass for sand replacement in concrete.
  • 113 tonnes of paint.
  • 7121 chemical drums.

Did you know? Resources go to waste every year, especially as e-waste goes discarded and grows with our use of technology. According to the UN, all of the countries combined generate 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste annually. But, we only only collect and recycle 20 per cent of e-waste globally. That’s a LOT of electronic waste! 

You can read this for 5 reasons why recycling e-waste is important. 

Read more of our Cairns news blogs.