Spyro Kalos

Jul 31, 2018 | Do Gooders

Spyro Kalos, CEO of Mobile Muster makes it easy for us to take action and recycle right. The program turns 20 this year, were mobile phones even around 20 years ago? Oh yeah, feeling old now.

Where’s your ‘hood?

My hood is part of the Green Square development located in in the inner east of Sydney.

Why it’s so good?

It is Sydney’s older industrial heartland that is being transformed into a vibrant, sustainable and connected community.

1: Tell me about your campaign

Mobile Muster

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is currently growing at three times the rate of general waste in Australia.

There are millions of mobile phones lying in our homes that are no longer being used or working. Mobile Muster can help you do something about it.

Mobile Muster provides a free mobile phone recycling program across Australia. We accept all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories. We make sure your mobile phones are recycled the right way when they reach the end of their life.

2: What ‘moment’ started this journey?

Mobile Muster started in 1998 when the people who make the phones and provide the network decided to start their own recycling program. Basically it was a way for the industry to take responsibility for products when they reach the end of their life.
The program actually turns twenty this year which is a great achievement for the industry and shows what good can come about when an industry share a vision to do the right thing to benefit the community and environment.  Since the program started we have collected and recycled over 1412 tonnes of electronic waste which equates to over 12 million handsets and batteries.

3: how did the idea grow?

Whilst most Australians know they can recycle their mobile phones most households have a stash of old handsets that are no longer being used.

We love holding onto our old mobile phones ‘just in case’ we need them one day.

To encourage people to take action on recycling we run incentive campaigns each year. We have had some great charity partners over the years which has really helped to grow awareness. For the last two years Mobile Muster partnered with OzHarvest to provide an added incentive and drive recycling over summer, when a lot of Australians buy a new phone. For every phone that was recycled Mobile Muster delivered a meal to someone in need through OzHarvest.

Our campaign gave a win-win situation where no one wants these old phones – you can’t use them, or sell them – they are quite literally useless, but if we recycle them over 99% of the material can go back into making new products.

In return, we will deliver a meal to someone in need.

4: Any Unexpected delights along the way?

We were really proud to be the first product stewardship program to be voluntary accredited by the federal government in 2014. It gave us a tick of approval and provides certainty to the community and industry that Mobile Muster provides a world class recycling service that is safe and secure to the highest environmental standards.

With over 96% of the materials used in a mobile being recyclable, Mobile Muster is part of the circular economy and the recycled metals, glass and plastic are all reused to make new products. This means we are avoiding future greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, protecting our environment and conserving scarce natural resources.

5: How can we get involved?

Mobile Muster partners with a variety of organisations from local councils, community groups, school, retailers and workplaces across Australia to make it easy and accessible for people to recycle in their community. We provide free collection units, education and marketing resources to support your collection drive and a free pick-up and processing service. Visit our website mobilemuster.com.au

If you have a mobile phone that needs to be recycled drop them off at any of our retail partners including your local Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Samsung, Officeworks or Salvos stores. We have 3,500 drop off locations around Australia, including local councils and workplaces. Search Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website for your nearest location. Alternatively, pick up a free Mobile Muster satchel available from AusPost.

6: Where to next?

The growing advances in mobile technology means that more people are using their mobile phones more and storing more information on them. We know one of the growing barriers to recycling is concern over data management.

This year the program will develop a number of resources to help mobile phone users manage and delete the data on their phones. We are hoping this will make it easier for them to reuse or recycle their old mobiles in the future.

7: Tips & Adivce

We work and partner with some great organisations to share our message.

Look at what organisations are in your own neighborhood like the local council, schools, workplaces and charity groups.

If you team up it will be easier to spread the message, reduce costs and make it fun along the way.

8: your legacy

What do you hope your legacy will be?

The idea that the work I do with Mobile Muster will make a significant difference to people’s attitudes to recycling and the environment.

9: staying positive

Life throws all sort of challenges at us, and I believe you need to turn up, get involved and be present, just keep going. I like taking time out for me, either through a great work out the gym, some quiet time or hanging out with great friends and family.

10: favourite quote

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

As a vegan, this quote from Mahatma Gandhi reinforces why I went vegan and it inspires me to spread the word that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to support the suffering of animals.

Thanks Spyro! 

I’m guilty of holding onto a phone for longer than I need. Actually, three of them. I have pulled them out of the back cupboard and will be dropping them off tomorrow and let them have a second life as a new product.

So what are YOU waiting for? Hop to it.

 

Want to do more but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Download our toolkit and let’s get started

Jo and Corina are two completely average members of their community in Ryde.

12 months ago they took a War on Waste inspired journey by introducing simple ways to reduce the use of single-use plastics in their community. Now, with the help of the ABC they’re here to share the ‘hows’ of doing good for your ’hood with the War on Waste Toolkit

Jo Taranto and Corina Seeto

Founders, Good For The Hood

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