Eco-ATM Allows Kiosk Recycling of Old Cell Phones

Going green — By on February 24, 2011 at 6:28 am
17 300x206 Eco ATM Allows Kiosk Recycling of Old Cell Phones

Eco-ATM takes old electronics, recycles them and gives you cash or coupons

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 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.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Leah says:

    What great innovation! Hope this picks up around the world. Here’s a video on reducing the impact of urbanization on biodiversity

  2. We all need to be aware of the consequences if we do not try to conserve our natural resources. Old cell phones, microchips and hard drives are noe being shredded aside from paper documents – so that they can be rendered useful once more. The old models of televisions are becoming obsolete, even cell phones and computers. So what happens to them? One thing we can do is to turn them over to recycling facilities where their parts can still be used for making modern gadgets. We can have our old microchips and hard drives shredded as a precautionary measure at the same time they can also be considered as recyclable e-waste.

  3. That’s an awesome idea, and I just saw one at the supermarche, gonna use it tomorrow.

  4. Charm Henry says:

    This is indeed an awesome innovation. I do hope that many more of these machines will be available worldwide. This is really a great help for mobile phone recycling. I am expecting these ATM machines to be available soon here in our town. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment