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Numbers up for dead mobile phones

Numbers up for dead mobile phones

Manukau City is supporting a trial programme for recycling mobile phones with a recycling bin at its citizen and customer centre.

SmartManukau is supporting the recycling joint-venture project from the mobile phone companies, Vodafone and Nokia, aimed at ensuring old mobile phones, batteries and chargers do not end up in landfills, causing environmental damage.

Manukau City is the first council in New Zealand to support the programme which, if it is successful, will be extended to other council centres. The first collection bin is in the foyer of the council's citizen and customer centre at Kotuku House.

Dr Hanna Frederick, the project manager for SmartManukau, says the programme supports the city's goal of reducing waste from residential and business areas by promoting recycling and re-use.

"With more than two million New Zealanders owning mobile phones and many likely to buy newer models every few years, the safe disposal of this equipment is a concern," said Dr Frederick.

"There are possibly tens of thousands of unused phones and accessories that could be recycled. It is important to make sure that the batteries, in particular, are not just dumped in landfills."

The phones will be sent to Singapore and the components broken down for re-use. Nokia says the first container of recycled phones, batteries and chargers are due to be shipped to Singapore shortly.

The mobile phone recycling initiative comes from 10 major mobile phone companies who signed a declaration to recycle mobile phones. The New Zealand programme was launched last year by Environment Minister, Marion Hobbs.

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