Sustainability |

Turn your old mobile into a meal for someone in need

By Spyro Kalos January 17, 2018

Do you have an old unused mobile phone hanging around? Do some good and turn it into a meal for someone in need.

We all have one. Maybe it’s a little rough around the edges, not as cool as it used to be, or maybe you’ve upgraded to the latest model – these phones are simply old, broken, and unwanted.

We’re talking about mobiles – millions of them, in fact.

MobileMuster, Australia’s leading mobile phone recycling program, estimates there are almost 5 million old mobile phones which are no longer working, along with their chargers and accessories. This summer is the perfect time to pull them out of the junk drawer and put them to better use.

MobileMuster has teamed up with food rescue organisation OzHarvest to encourage Australians to recycle and do some good. For every phone recycled until the end of February, OzHarvest will deliver a meal to someone in need through our Mobile for a Meal initiative. The aim is to collect and recycle 70,000 phones – and deliver 70,000 meals to those in need across Australia.

To get involved, simply recycle your mobile, along with any accessories, to a MobileMuster recycling collection point at your nearest Telstra store before the end of February. MobileMuster will responsibly recycle your mobiles and recover 99 per cent of the materials that can go back into making new products.

Remember to remove any data on your phone that you would like to keep before you recycle and feel secure that any data left on the devices is destroyed in the recycling process.

TEX - smartphone - satnav
Devices | Sustainability |

9 surprising ways to reuse old tech: Recycling week

By Tom Penny November 17, 2017

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

From a DIY baby monitor to new music player … there’s more you can do with your old mobile phone than leaving it stashed in a drawer.

While many of us are obsessed with updating to the latest phone and tech, you may not be aware of the growing amount of old technology that’s piling up in storage.

To mark the end of National Recycling Week in Australia, we wanted to share some of the more unique ways to keep your electronic waste (e-waste) out of landfill.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. TV remote

Forever losing the remote to your TV? If you’ve got an old smartphone with infrared functionality on this list you can turn it into a universal remote control to manage your TV, set-top box and home media system. Even if you don’t have an IR-compatible device you can still use an old smartphone to control your Telstra TV through the Telstra TV app.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Dedicated alarm clock

Remember when you used to have an alarm clock beside your bed instead of a smartphone? Get a better night’s sleep by keeping your current smartphone away from the bedroom, and setting up a dedicated old device as a clock and alarm. There are lots of great alarm clock apps and they work without a network connection.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Set up a baby monitor

Almost all smartphones have a camera and microphone, and with the right app these can be set up as a video surveillance system. All you need to do is get a baby monitoring app such as Cloud Baby Monitor and connect the smartphone to Wi-Fi.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Emergency-only phone

All mobile phones have the ability to connect to Triple Zero (000) even without a sim card, provided the devices support a network that is available. So if you still have an old (3G+) phone around, a charger, and access to 3G or 4G coverage, it may be smart to keep the phone handy as an emergency-only phone.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Kid-friendly learning tool

Old smartphones and tablets can be locked down to turn into a fun and educational toy for kids. As well as for learning apps, they can be used to encourage children to explore the world around them. Pixl Toys have created a camera case for smartphones that kids can use to learn more about technology and photography.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Dedicated music player

Smartphones often have loads of storage and so work as great music players without draining the battery of your main device. If you use a streaming service then you can access all your music, even without having a lot of storage on the phone. Use the phone’s Bluetooth to connect to a dedicated speaker to increase the audio quality.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. SatNav in your car

GPS access in phones means that costly SatNav systems are becoming a thing of the past. For older cars, get a phone holder and car charger to set up your dedicated phone SatNav. Access to real-time maps needs a data connection but many apps including Google Maps and Nokia HERE have options to download maps to give directions offline.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Donate your computing power to science

Even an old smartphone is probably more powerful than a computer from the 1990s. That unused computing power can be ‘donated’ to science projects around the world that need to crunch big volumes of data. Choose your cause, whether it’s searching for aliens, identifying earthquakes, curing disease or improving weather forecasts.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

  1. Recycle with Mobile Muster

If you have an old phone that no longer works or you have no use for, you can recycle it through a MobileMuster collection point. All data is destroyed and more than 95 per cent of the materials are recovered to go into making new products. All our Telstra retail stores have MobileMuster collection points, so pop into your local Telstra store and recycle your old phones.

Recycling week | Reuse your old tech

Bonus e-waste tip

For the wider e-waste space … ever thought of creating a Kitty Condo with your old computer screen?

What cat wouldn’t want to live inside a 1990s computer screen box? Your cat will love you for it – and you’ll give your friends a laugh when they see it.

It’s been a year since we launched our Electronics Reuse and Recycling Strategy. Read about what we’ve achieved so far.
Devices |

The defining decade of smartphone

By Kevin Teoh November 1, 2017

The arrival of the world’s most anticipated smartphone later this week signifies just how far mobile phones have come in 10 years.

From small screen wonders that could surf the web at dial-up speeds, smartphones have evoled to glass and aluminum-clad computers that have changed the way we organise our day, how we consume content, the way we communicate – even romance!

They’ve ushered in the dogface filter, revived the GIF, mainstreamed the emoji and made settling arguments about trivia a thing of the past.

Since 2007 when Telstra launched Australia’s first consumer smartphone — the Nokia N95 – these devices have become central to almost every digital task we carry out, expanding the social connections we make and the entertainment we consume.

Our latest Telstra Smartphone Index, released this week, shows smartphone ownership is now almost ubiquitous with 91 per cent of Aussies mobile users now owning one.

They’ve now all but replaced the digital camera, with 96 per cent of owners snapping photos on their phones, and they’ve rendered sat navs virtually obsolete, too, with 80 per cent of smartphone owners using their mobiles to help them get from A to B.

And it looks like cash, cards and good old-fashioned courting might be next on the list to bite the dust. Almost a third of Aussies are now using their smartphone to pay for goods or services – a figure that rises to 47 per cent among 25 to 34-year-olds. And the same age group is also leading the charge on on-demand dating, with 26 per cent using their smartphone to access apps like Tinder, Bumble and Happn.

With all of this additional data-driven activity, it’s no wonder Telstra customers consumed 420 million gigabytes worth of data this year alone (a 180-fold increase since 2008).

To support these changing habits – around the country and the clock – the past decade has seen us introduce a whole host of new measures to help you get the most out of your mobile. Things like one million extra Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots and generous data allowances of up to 100GB per month.

It’s exciting to think about what the next ten years might hold. As smartphones evolve and we move into the 5G era there will be a new raft of sophisticated features that make them even more indispensable. High quality augented reality, virtual personal assistants that anticipate your needs and virtual doctors that monitor vital signs are just some of the technologies that are on the horizon.

For more information on the latest smartphones to arrive to Telstra, visit