Canberra now holds the (very unofficial) world record for most phones collected for recycling in one day, with the initiative collecting 747 old phones, as well as numerous chargers and accessories, putting the capital on top of the rankings by default.
But with thousands more phones lurking in the back of drawers or collecting dust, the ACT Government is encouraging Canberrans to donate all their used mobile phones and technology for recycling.
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury says that although no world record is currently set for mobile phone recycling, thereby giving Canberra the title by default, he hopes Thursday’s effort will inspire other cities around Australia and the world to compete and send fewer phones in landfill.
“It may come as a surprise to most, but mobile phone parts can often be recycled,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“Mobile phones contain many different materials including glass, aluminium, gold, silver and copper that can be extracted and reused in products such as jewellery and new batteries.”
“If you have old mobile phones or chargers at home collecting dust or clogging up your cupboards, be sure to drop these into the Actsmart team,” urged Mr Rattenbury.
Canberra schools were also praised for their involvement in the Actsmart program which teaches them more about environmental sustainability.
And if you’re worried about privacy, Mr Rattenbury suggests a factory reset.
“I would say to people if you are worried about privacy, strip the data out, take the sim card out, restore the factory settings – the type of things that we’ve all had to do at various times.
“It’s easy to do,” he said. “And if you don’t know how to do it, ask the young person in your household to do it for you.”