Have you often thought about recycling your cell phone or old laptop computer, but simply decided it was too difficult to figure out how? You’re not alone.
A consumer survey recently conducted by Nokia in the U.S. reported that, out of 6,500 households, only 3 percent had recycled a handset. That means about 97% of us are leaving old phones tucked in drawers or – even worse – simply tossing them in the trash. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that consumers generated 2 million tons of e-waste in 2005 and only 350,000 tons of it was recycled.
A new eco-ATM that allows kiosk recycling of electronics at your local supermarket could be the best thing invented since…. well… the bank ATM. Its easy to use, conveniently located and gives you cash back for the value of the components of your Ewaste.
Based in San Diego, California, ecoATM www.ecoatm.com aims to encourage electronics recycling through automated machines similar to Coinstar vending machines. To use the kiosk, simply plug in your phone with the provided cable. The eco-ATM calculates its value by scanning the content of the phone and inspecting the outside appearance with a built-in camera. If your old cell phone can be re-sold on the secondary market, the eco-ATM will pay you right then and there when you recycle your cell phone at the kiosk.
Worried about your personal data? The eco-ATM will erase all data on the phone.
Perhaps even better, the average person that recycled their cell phone at the kiosk received $10-15 for the old device. Some receive as much as $50-75, depending on the age of the device, its condition and demand on the secondary market. If you’d rather donate the value to a charity, you can do that too. The eco-ATM kiosks that have been installed are already proving quite popular. In fact, at a trial location in Nebraska, people were waiting in line for up to 45 minutes with shopping bags filled with old cell phones for recycling!
Now that there is a convenient way to recycle old cell phones, the company is considering broadening the scope of its ewaste recycling at the ecoATM to include video games, camcorders, MP3 players and laptops.
Currently, you can find eco-ATM kiosks in San Diego, Dallas, Boston, Seattle and the MidWest. By the end of 2011, the hope is that over 850 convenient locations for eWaste recycling will be deployed across the United States. You already knew you could get paid for old cell phones and electronics. Now you can cash in quickly and conveniently – just like getting money from a “regular” ATM.