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
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?
3: how did the idea grow?
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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
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