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Australians Urged To Recycle Their Mobiles To Feed People In Need


12 December 2017 at 5:03 pm
Luke Michael
A pair of leading not for profits have teamed up to encourage Australians to recycle their old mobiles to provide a meal for people in need this summer.


Luke Michael | 12 December 2017 at 5:03 pm


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Australians Urged To Recycle Their Mobiles To Feed People In Need
12 December 2017 at 5:03 pm

A pair of leading not for profits have teamed up to encourage Australians to recycle their old mobiles to provide a meal for people in need this summer.

The campaign, Mobile for a Meal, pairs food rescue organisation OzHarvest with MobileMuster – Australia’s only government accredited mobile phone recycling program.

E-waste and food waste are the two fastest growing areas of waste in Australia, with almost 5 million old mobile phones not in use and 4 million tonnes of food wasted and sent to landfill every year.

But with the Mobile for a Meal campaign, for every mobile recycled at a MobileMuster recycling unit, OzHarvest will deliver a meal to someone in need.

Spyro Kalos, the recycling manager at MobileMuster, said this was a “beautiful win-win” situation.

“No one wants these old phones – you can’t use them, or sell them – [so] they are quite literally useless, but if we recycle them over 96 per cent of the material can go back into making new products. In return, we will deliver a meal to someone in need,” Kalos said.

“It’s important to remember that mobile phones are not biodegradable, and they contain substances and materials that can potentially harm the environment.

“And it’s very easy to recycle your old mobile phone when it comes to the end of its life as there are over 3,5000 public collection points around Australia.”

Henrietta Ardle is the head of fundraising at OzHarvest. She told Pro Bono News that teaming up with MobileMuster was a great initiative to maximise both organisations’ social impact.

“Electronic waste and food waste are extremely damaging to the environment and so it made perfect sense that we’d do something proactive and beneficial for our community,” Ardle said.

“This is the second year we have teamed up with MobileMuster for this campaign and for every mobile recycled, OzHarvest will make sure a meal is delivered to someone who needs it.”

Ardle said they hoped to improve their reach this summer and build on the benchmark they set during last year’s campaign.

“This year we’re hoping to raise enough to support 70,000 people with one meal. To ensure we’re reached that target, we need 70,000 phones to be recycled by next February,” she said.

“That’s a huge target for us. But last year we hit 60,000 phones recycled last summer, so we feel like we can reach that target.”

“Everybody’s got a phone at home that nobody uses. And it’s no use sitting in a drawer. So we’re asking Australians to take that phone and recycle it at a MobileMuster drop-off point – which there’s thousands of – before the end of February.”

She said that Australians were becoming more aware of the waste issues in the community.

“We absolutely see that. In our work every day, the issue of waste is becoming more recognised in our community,” Ardle said.

“It’s front of mind for Australians and so we’re really hoping they will get behind the campaign this summer.”

You can find your nearest MobileMuster recycling unit here.  


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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