Activity Introduction

Mobile phone.jpgQuick summary: In this lesson students will learn about the environmental benefits of recycling mobile phones and printer cartridges. Playing the Recycle Rescue game they will see how fast they can rescue the old mobiles and printer cartridges from going to waste by recycling them in the correct collection bin. Students will research key questions about recycling and the impact electronic waste has on the environment.

NRW Logo 2012-10-00 LgeThis lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.


 Learning goals:

  • Students understand the role and impact of resource use;
  • Students begin to take responsibility for unwanted resources;
  • Students research the concept of product stewardship.

General Capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capabilities.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 4 Geography

  • The use and management of natural resources and waste, and the different views on how to do this sustainably (ACHASSK090)

Year 4 Science

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)

Year 5 Science

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)

Year 6 Science

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)

Year 5 & 6 Design and Technology

  • Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023)

Syllabus Outcomes: GE2-3, ST2-11LW, ST3-6PW.

Topic: Consumption, National Recycling Week, Cartridges, Resource Recovery

Time required: 1 lesson

Resources required: Recycle Rescue. This can be downloaded as an app in the Google Play or Apple Store.

Additional resources:  

Digital learning opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities

Keywords: Waste, litter, e-waste, mobile phones, printer cartridges, consumption, MobileMuster.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: In this lesson, students will play the Recycle Rescue online game. They will learn that by recycling their mobiles and printer cartridges, they not only make their waste pile smaller, but they also reduce the consumption of natural resources.

Teacher content information: Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. This highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school.

Student and classroom organisation

Step 1:  Begin the lesson with a class discussion about whether students own a mobile phone and / or a home printer.  The discussion could address some of the following issues: 

  • How many mobile phones and printers do they have when they include
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Student Worksheet

mobile-phones-photoframe-1Thought Starter: How do I rescue my old mobile phone?

Your mobile phone has stopped working. You depend on your mobile to stay in contact with friends and family. You need to decide whether to have your old mobile repaired, buy a new mobile phone and recycle the broken one or use an older mobile phone and keep the broken one.  

Which four of the following things are important when you are making your decision? Write your criteria in the table below.

  • I want a low cost option
  • I want a quick solution
  • I want to have the latest technology
  • I want a sustainable solution
  • I want a long term solution
  • I want to recycle my waste
  • I want low future costs
  • I want to reduce my waste


Rank your criteria to the choices below. Ranking criteria: 3 = Best, 2 = Medium, 1 = Worst. 

CRITERIARepair ModelRecycle and buy newUse old and keep broken
Total Rankings


Explain your choice in a coupl

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