While some cell phone companies are introducing convenient ways for you to recycle your phone once you're done with it, a new start-up is making it just plain simple. EcoATM will be deploying kiosks at retailers around the country where you can drop off your old phone, have its value assessed and immediately get an in-store trade-up coupon or gift card.
The first of these kiosks has been stationed at the Nebraska Furniture Mart in Omaha for the last year. After great success with that one kiosk, the company is going install the e-cycler at wireless and big box stores in San Diego, Washington state and Vermont in the next couple of months. By the second quarter of next year, the kiosks will be popping up around the country and the machines will soon be able to accept other gadgets like MP3 players, cameras and laptops.
The EcoATMs have cameras that can detect damage to the phone and then come up with its value. If the phone is worth nothing, you can still choose to have it recycled and receive a free waterproof phone case and, for every phone recycled, the company plants a tree. The machine will also recycle your used batteries.
The company makes it beneficial to the retailers by installing the machines at no cost and making the payments redeemable in-store, increasing their sales. It also allows them to apply donations from the machine to their favorite charity.
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