Inner West Council

Mobile Phone Recycling

Mobiles should never be thrown out. They are not biodegradable, and may contain some potentially environmentally hazardous material. Toxic chemicals that can leach from discarded mobile phones include: cadmium (particularly in older phones), lead, brominated flame retardants and beryllium. These poisonous substances can seep into groundwater, contaminate the soil and enter the food chain. 
There are at least 30 million mobile phone subscribers currently in Australia. There are also more than 23 million unused phones hiding in drawers, cupboards and garages across Australia, that’s one old phone for every Australian. That’s the equivalent of 2,450 tonnes of metals, minerals, plastic and glass – things that the planet desperately needs us to recycle. With the average person replacing their mobile phone every 18-24 months.

When recycled, over 90% of the materials in mobile phones can be recovered and used as raw materials for new products. The materials recovered can be used to make everything from plastic fence posts to stainless steel products. Did you know that recycling 50,000 handsets can replace the need to mine 110 tonne of gold ore, 123 tonne of silver bearing ore or 11 tonne of copper sulphide ore.

Ashfield Council has partnered with MobileMuster, the official product stewardship program of the telecommunications industry in Australia, to provide a free recycling service to its residents.

MobileMuster accepts all brands of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories.Everything collected is recycled to the highest environmental standard for resource recovery with nothing being resold. We do encourage deleting or removing any data that you want to keep from your SIM card or mobile phone, although any data left on the device is destroyed in the recycling process.

Where to recycle your old mobiles:

  • Council's Customer Service Centre
  • Any of the major mobile phone retailers including Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile or Vodafone store.

More information on MobileMuster can be found by visiting