Frequently Asked Questions
Recycling your mobile phone
If my screen is smashed, can I donate my mobile phone?
Yes. Mobile phones with broken screens will be recycled for parts.
Why can’t I just put my mobile phone in my recycling bin?
Mobile phones and other electronic devices cannot be recycled via your kerbside recycling collection. These collections are only for plastic, glass, tin, paper and cardboard – they are not equipped to deal with electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste contains components like lithium ion batteries that can cause fires if they are punctured or crushed, and other harmful substances which need to be disposed of properly.
There are many components of a mobile phone which can be recycled, but the phones need to be spent to specialist e-waste processors to do this. Recycling your mobile phone with RE:MOBILE will ensure these parts are recycled.
Where do I donate my phone?
There are lots of different ways you can donate your phone. Find out more.
Do you still want my old mobile if it isn’t ‘smart’?
Yes. RE:MOBILE accepts all mobile phones, no matter how old or broken they are.
What if I can’t turn my phone on in order to wipe the data before I recycle it?
If you can’t turn your mobile phone on, we won’t be able to either. This means your phone will be recycled for parts, and your data will be destroyed in the process.
Can I donate other electronic devices such as tablets?
Unfortunately, we can only accept mobile phones. Some other electronic devices such as computers, laptops and tablets, can be recycled at Office Max.
What should I do with my mobile phone charger?
Your mobile phone charger can be recycled by RE:MOBILE. We encourage you to drop off your phone charger at one of our collection locations rather than posting them as chargers can rip the envelopes.
Why do I have to keep my SIM card?
SIM cards can contain personal data. They can also be reused in other devices.
How do I wipe the data off my phone?
Follow these instructions to wipe your personal data from your mobile phone.
Should I send you my phone case as well?
No thanks. Unfortunately, we can’t recycle your mobile phone case. Check out these creative uses for old phone cases.
I accidentally left my SIM card in my phone. Does that matter?
If you left your SIM card in your phone then it will be removed when the phone is received by SwapKit and will be destroyed. Unfortunately, we can’t return SIM cards to their owners.
How does freepost work?
You can package up your unwanted mobile phone into any envelop or parcel and post it to RE:MOBILE for free simply by writing the Freepost address on the envelope.
What happens to the mobile phones sent to RE:MOBILE?
Mobile phones are either refurbished for reuse, or recycled parts.
Where will my mobile phone be sent?
In the first instances, mobile phones are sent to SwapKit in Auckland. There they are sorted into two groups – phones for recycling and phones for refurbishment. Phones that are being recycled get sent to Japan. We only work with overseas smelters who have credible environmental management systems in place.
Phones that are refurbished are sold to businesses that specialise in the re-sale of second-hand mobile phones in places such as Hong Kong, China and Eastern Europe.
What is RE:MOBILE?
RE:MOBILE is a not-for-profit mobile phone recycling scheme which is accredited by the Ministry for the Environment. Learn more.
How is this different from the Starship Hospital mobile phone recycling campaign?
RE:MOBILE is the same mobile phone recycling scheme that ran the Starship Hospital campaign. However, the proceeds from RE:MOBILE now go to New Zealand charity Sustainable Coastlines instead of Starship Hospital. RE:MOBILE is the only Ministry for the Environment accredited mobile phone recycling scheme in New Zealand.
How many phones have been recycled in New Zealand?
The number of mobile phones being recycled in New Zealand is growing every day. Find out our latest collection results here.
I am a school / business / council – how do I get a collection point?
If you would like to be a RE:MOBILE collection point, please contact us.
How much money does Sustainable Coastlines get from my phone?
The amount of money Sustainable Coastlines receives for each phone varies due to a number of factors which include the type of phone, the age and condition of it, and whether it is recycled or refurbished.
What does Sustainable Coastlines do with the money?
Sustainable Coastlines uses the money from RE:MOBILE to plant trees along New Zealand’s waterways. This helps to remove nutrients, slow sediment runoff and stop chemicals from entering the water, all which help to improve the water quality.