What is an EcoATM?

From time to time eco-friendly businesses contact me to blog about their product.  I’m impressed and wowed by the quality and “green” ingenuity of these products, including the most recent inquiry, EcoATM !

The EcoATM is a kiosk where you can recycle your new, used or broken phones, mp3 players and tablets and get cash for them.  Founded in 2008, the San Diego-based company has more than 600 kiosks in 40 states.  Their goal is to be located within five miles or closer to 90% of the US population to make e-waste recycling as convenient as possible.

Entrepreneur and founder Mark Bowles was inspired by a survey that found that only 3 percent of people worldwide recycle their mobile phones.  According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, the U.S. disposes of more than 384 million units of electronic waste each year, and less than 20 percent of that is recycled.  That leaves 80 percent dumped in landfills or burned, leaking toxic substances into the environment.

Let’s face it – many people need motivation to recycle and money is a great motivator.   That’s why the EcoATM is such a good solution to the recycling problem, and using the fully automated, self-serve kiosk, often in malls, is easy:

ecoATM in Mission Viejo

ecoATM in Mission Viejo (Photo credit: G A R N E T)

Simply place the mobile device in the ecoATM test station and submit your personal id, which is matched with an image of the seller taken at the kiosk.

The machine quickly evaluates the device, searches for the highest price in the worldwide market to sell it, and gives you cash on the spot. The process only takes a few minutes and the average seller walks away with approximately $25 to $300, depending on the device.  EcoATM staff remotely monitor every transaction. Each kiosk also has a free charging station and a place to recycle accessories.

What does EcoATM do with all these devices?  They refurbish 75 percent and the rest goes to reputable e-waste recyclers.

Security is of utmost importance to EcoATM and they go beyond what State and local laws require to ensure safety and deter stolen items or fraud; privacy information is also securely encrypted.  Furthermore, ecoATM works closely with law enforcement to locate stolen phones.

Kudos to EcoATM – a great example of the kind of inventiveness that can create jobs and help solve pressing environmental issues.

For more information and to find an ecoATM near you, visit www.ecoatm.com.

Information compiled from http://www.ecoatm.com.


2 responses to this post.

  1. That is amazing, what a cool idea!


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