Mobile Phone Ignites in Red Bin

5 years ago | by

Three minor fires have broken out at Council’s waste processing facility over the past week due to residents placing hazardous items in their red bins.

Whilst to most of us mobile phones seem quite harmless, once they are placed into the red bin it is a different and potentially dangerous story. Mobile phones, their accessories and batteries as well as general household batteries like those from your television remote are considered hazardous waste items as the chemicals inside them have the potential to ignite.

The material in the red waste bins are sorted by hand once they arrive at the facility. This becomes a potentially dangerous job if the wrong items are being placed in bins.

Broken or working mobile phones, their batteries and chargers can be recycled free of charge using the MobileMuster program. Collect a free MobileMuster satchel available from your nearest Australia Post outlet, download a free postage label from the MobileMuster website or use their website to find your closest participating retailer and drop it off in store for free. Coffs Harbour City Council’s Customer Service Centre has a free collection box as well as Toormina, Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour libraries. Over 99% of the materials in a mobile phone are recovered through the MobileMuster recycling program, including the battery, circuit board, metal, plastic, glass, accessories and packaging.

Household batteries, motor oil, paints, gas bottles and other hazardous household items are not accepted in the red bin but can be disposed of free of charge at the Community Recycling Centre located at the Englands Road Waste Facility, Coffs Harbour.

“Coffs Harbour residents are generally great at sorting their waste. I’d urge residents to always think about what they intend to dispose of, the potential hazard it may cause to someone collecting or sorting on the other end and dispose of it responsibly,” said Paul Shepherd, Waste Services Team Leader.

If you have any doubts on how to recycle or dispose of a particular item, phone the Coffs Coast Waste Services hotline on 1800 265 495 or visit the

Print Friendly, PDF & Email