You’ve got that shiny new phone, and you might have handed your last one to a family member – but chances are many of us have just slipped it into that drawer of phones we seem to have, because it turns out not enough of us are Recycling our phones.

New data from Vodafone shows that just one percent of customers are recycling their old mobile phones and devices – that’s staggering when you think about just how many phones are out there.

Estimates from Vodafone and Mobile Muster suggest there are more than 22.3 million unused mobile phones just tucked away in desk drawers and storage bins in homes right across Australia.

The fact is, once they get to a certain age, they are useless. An old smartphone that has sat untouched will probably never power on again, and older phones simply won’t work on any modern network. So why – why are we keeping them?

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We are facing a growing e-waste problem in Australia, but together we can make a positive change. Mobile Muster simplifies phone recycling, helping the environment by saving energy, reducing landfill e-waste, cutting carbon emissions, and reusing valuable materials — all at no cost to you.”

You can find drop off points for Mobile Muster in any telco store, and just drop them in – you’ve done your bit!

Mobile Muster is a free not for profit recycling program – I’ve been to their factory where old phones are received and broken down into the sum of their parts to be re-used again. It’s amazing, but if we’re at 1% right now, we could certainly be doing much more!

If you’re clinging to those phones thinking they are of some value, take them to your Telco store – like Vodafone – and use them as a trade-in on your next new phone!

“There’s a treasure trove of old phones and devices tucked away in the desk drawers and cupboards of homes all around the nation,” the Vodafone spokesperson said.  

“With Vodafone, you can trade in your old device for a new upgrade or a credit on your bill. Every phone that can’t be re-used will be recycled with MobileMuster – and yes, that even means your phone from 2010 with a broken screen.”

So perhaps this Christmas, gather up your old phones and bring them in – for a credit on your bill? Or, if they’re worthless – pop them in that Mobile Muster collection bin.