To begin the buyback process, visitors to the Zombie Phone website, www.zombiephone.com, select their current wireless carrier and identify the make, model and condition of their phones. Based on this information, SRS instantly calculates an offer.
If a consumer decides to accept the Zombie Phone offer, he or she can ship the device for free by requesting a padded envelope, which Zombie Phone refers to as a “body bag,” or by printing a prepaid shipping label and shipping the device to SRS’ West Chicago facility for processing. Upon arrival, all cellphones are automatically checked against the CheckMEND database to determine whether a wireless carrier reported them lost, stolen or blocked. Devices with resale value will undergo secure data erasure and refurbishment. Devices that cannot be repaired will be dismantled, the reusable components recovered and all remaining materials recycled, SRS says.
“Industry experts estimate that Americans typically hold on to their cell phones for only two years, which is one reason why 141 million mobile devices were ready for recycling, according to the U.S. EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency’s) most recent figures,” says Steve Skurnac, president of SRS. “Unfortunately, only 11.7 million of those devices were collected for recycling. We know from experience that concerns about data security and a lack of awareness about available recycling options contribute to this low recycling rate.”
He adds, “Zombie Phone gives consumers a convenient way to securely and responsibly recycle their cell phones and make a little extra money while doing it.”
Consumers can choose to receive their payments via direct bank transfer or check or can donate their money to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members.
In North America, SRS, owned by Sims Metal Management, operates 16 sites in Arizona, British Columbia, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Ontario, Quebec, Tennessee and Texas.