Australian Battery Recycling Initiative
ABRI's vision is simple: to achieve battery stewardship in Australia

Mobile phone battery recycling

Posted on: January 2nd, 2014

MobileMuster released its latest annual report, titled Mobile Australia: A report into how we use and recycle our mobiles, in December.

In 2012-13 MobileMuster collected 87 tonnes of mobile phone components. This represents a collection rate of 53.1% of mobile phones that are available for recycling. Consumers continue to hoard phones at a high rate, with an estimated 23 million phones in storage at home or work in Australia. On the upside the percentage of people throwing their phones away remained low at 3%.

The data on collected batteries highlights some significant trends:
– the proportion of nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries fell from 16% in 2005-06 to 4% in 2012-13
– the proportion of lead batteries fell from 22% to 1% over the same period
– the proportion of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries fell from 26% to 14%
– lithium ion batteries now represent 81% of all batteries collected (by weight).

The program’s diversion rate from landfill reached 99% in the last financial year, with more than 199 kgs of cadmium and 226 kgs of lead being diverted from landfill. MobileMuster also recovered over 5.78 tonnes of plastic, 58 kgs of precious metals, 1.27 tonnes of aluminium, 1.78 tonnes of steel, 4.26 tonnes of copper and over 0.54 tonne of cobalt as raw materials to make new products like aluminium cans, batteries or plastic fence posts.

MobileMuster is a unique product stewardship program that brings manufacturers and carriers together in a voluntary and not-for profit program. It is managed by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) on behalf of its members – Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Force Technology.

Download the full report here.