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Disposing of mobile phones

Proper disposal of old mobile phones

Mobile phones can be a real gold mine! In fact, a ton of mobile phones considered “junk” contains 30 times more gold than a ton of raw gold ore! All the more reason to recover those raw materials and use them again. In Austria, proper collection and disposal is a simple process, without a lot of bureaucratic hassle.

Disposing of old mobile phones

Donation campaigns are another great way to get more life out of old mobile phones

So where do I take my old cell phone?

To dispose of your old or outdated mobile phone, simply drop it off at any municipal collection centre – known as “Mistplätze” (rubbish sites) in Vienna, or as “Recyclinghöfe” (recycling yards) or “Altstoffsammelzentren” (waste material collection centres) in certain Austrian states. Austria has one of Europe’s most extensive networks of municipal collection centres, where residents can drop off their old or broken devices at no charge – and with no bureaucratic hassle. Devices are collected at the centres, then sent off for eco-friendly recycling. The raw materials needed for mobile phones and other high-tech devices are becoming ever scarcer and more expensive. Proper collection is an important step in ensuring that these devices will remain affordable well into the future.

Mobile phones for a good cause

Donation campaigns are another great way to get more life out of old mobile phones. Working on behalf of charitable organisations, specialised businesses delete any existing data from still-functional devices, then clean the devices and prepare them for reuse. Part of the profits from selling these devices goes to support charitable causes.

Back to the dealer

Consumers also have the option to return their old or broken mobile phone to the dealer at the same time they buy a new one, provided that the dealer has a retail shop space of 150 m² or larger. The dealer collects the devices and sends them off for recycling or reuse.  If a dealer with a retail sales area smaller than 150 m² does not take back used devices, it must explicitly inform consumers of this fact with appropriate signage at the shop entrance.