What to do when retiring your old mobile device

Have you recently upgraded your mobile phone, or are you thinking about it in the near future?

With the continual innovation of new technology, the life expectancy of your mobile device can be as short as three years before you need to update – or maybe you elect to update sooner to stay on top of the newest releases.

So what should you do with your old device? Recycle it, of course!

Griffith is committed to finding sustainable solutions for our end of life electronics as part of our E-Waste and Sustainability campaign. To facilitate this, there are E-Waste recycling stations at each campus library, as well as the EcoCentre and various student centres.

However, just as you wouldn’t leave a public computer without logging out of all your personal accounts, don’t forget to remove your personal data from your mobile device before disposing of it!

Lately, there has been an increase in the number of phones being dropped off to be recycled that still have access to the owner’s highly confidential data: private text messages, personal photos, online accounts and even banking passwords!  

To avoid the risk of having your accounts hacked or money stolen, it’s important to ensure you remove your personal data before your recycle.

Simply follow the checklist below, then get recycling!

  • Back up the device
  • Manually remove any personal information (a factory reset does not necessary delete all personal information)
  • Log out of online accounts  (iCloud, iTunes, App Store, Google Play, etc) and social media (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Manually turn off any ‘find my phone’ applications (i.e. Find my iPhone and Android Device Manager)
  • Unpair any devices such as Car Media or iWatch
  • Perform a factory reset
  • Remove your SIM card

For further information on the data management of your device before recycling visit the Recycling Devices webpage, or take a look at the tips on the Mobile Muster, Apple iOS, or Android websites.

Are you finished with your toothbrush? We want it

Image from Terracycle

Image from the Terracycle website.

Is your toothbrush looking worse for wear? No doubt it’s due to your amazing oral hygiene habits (you brush twice a day, for more than two minutes, right?).

But before you bin your old, manky-looking toothbrush, stop and think of your Griffith University library. Why on earth for, you ask? Well, we’ve partnered with Terracycle to recycle oral care product packaging.

We have special recycling bins at all our campus libraries for you to deposit oral care waste. And it’s not just toothbrushes. You can drop off toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrush and toothpaste tube outer packaging and floss containers.

We do ask however, that you remove excess product from your items before you place them in the recycling bins. Is there still foamy paste clinging to the bristles of your brush? Is the cap crusted over with old toothpaste? Maybe give them a good rinse first. And don’t forget to dry. We can’t ship dripping packages.

TerraCycle recycles the vast majority of the waste that we collect. According to their website, ‘the tubes and brushes are separated by composition, shredded and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products’.

Just think. Your humble little toothbrush could be melted down to become a brand new product. It could become a bench, a picnic table, or even a playground. Okay, so maybe it would take more than one toothbrush…

INS Making IT Green @ Griffith

  • Information Services’ green IT initiatives have been featured on Griffith’s Sustainability website following some impressive reductions to carbon emissions.

In recent years INS has backed the University’s commitment to a robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable tomorrow by introducing a number of beneficial practices.

Some of the primary examples of this commitment include the roll out of the unified collaborations project, purchasing items that meet specific environmental impact criteria and the recycling of e-waste, batteries and mobile phones.

However the most significant results have come from the  adoption of virtualised desktops and changes to print services.

The financial and environmental benefits of these initiatives are available via the Green IT @ Griffith section on the Sustainability website.