Why Do Aussies Recycle So Few Mobiles?

Worries about stolen data top the list of excuses why we don't recycle our outdated electronics. It's national recycling week this week, and to highlight the issue of mobiles not being recycled -- go on, be honest, there's one in your desk drawer right now, isn't there? -- Mobile Muster, the industry's mobile recycling program, has done some research into the top reasons why we don't recycle mobiles.

Topping the list is the issue of security, with 76 per cent of respondents concerned about not knowing how to wipe the information off a mobile phone before sending them in for recycling. Breaking that down, 65 per cent of those surveyed were worried that somebody else would access their data and 35 per cent worried that they'd need the data themselves at some later date. That latter figure suggests that a certain number would have been feature phone users; it's pretty easy to backup your smartphone to your PC these days. There's also the obvious statement to be made; it's rather hard to wipe the data off a mobile phone with a broken screen, but that doesn't mean the information isn't there or that people won't be worried about it.

Have you recycled your most recent mobiles? If so, what did you do to them prior to getting rid of them?