San Diego-based EcoATM, the nationwide network of automated electronics recycling kiosks, has announced it has officially recycled more than 2 million phones and devices in its four-year history. Pointing to a rising trend in Americans' interest in electronics recycling, the company says it took just nine months for ecoATM to double the number of devices it has processed; ecoATM announced that it had recycled 1 million devices in April 2013.
EcoATM's more than 800 kiosks, which are in shopping malls and retailers, collect consumer electronics, such as mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players, for recycling and provide cash payments as an incentive for consumers to recycle. Customers also can choose to donate a portion or all of their cash payment to a number of charity partners.
"More people across the country are realizing the hidden value in the phones and devices they've been tossing into junk drawers for years, and with only 20 percent of cell phones being recycled today, there is incredible potential for millions of Americans," says Mark Bowles, ecoATM founder and chief marketing officer. "Our goal is to offer consumers an opportunity to convert their clutter into cash while doing the right thing for the environment by keeping tons of toxic waste out of our nation's landfills."
In addition to the cash value that consumers have gained by recycling their devices through ecoATM, the collection of 2 million devices has enabled the recovery or reuse of:
- Three space shuttles worth of plastics,
- 70,000 pounds of copper (more than enough to create a second Statue of Liberty); and
- 1,544 pounds of silver (enough to create 22,540 American Eagle silver dollar coins.
EcoATM kiosks accept devices of any era or condition and use a worldwide auction system to offer consumers competitive prices, ranging from a few dollars for older models to a few hundred for newer smartphones depending upon condition, the company says. Some very old phones may not be worth anything, but ecoATM says it assures they will be responsibly recycled.
EcoATM is a subsidiary of Bellevie, Wash.-based Outerwall Inc. EcoATM holds both Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) and ISO 14001 certifications.