Last year, the United Nations declared that there were six billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. That number is almost the same as the world’s entire population, which is nearly seven billion people. While that certainly does not mean that almost every individual on earth owns a mobile phone, the figure still gives us an idea of just how many mobile phones get thrown away at a certain time. Not to mention other similar gadgets such as tablets, 52.5 million of which were sold in the 4th quarter of 2012 alone!
Think about it. What do you do with your old mobile phones and tablets? If you’re like me, you have a “hand-me-down line” ready and waiting for when you want to dispose of your (working) gadget. Otherwise, you might sell your devices in the secondhand market.
If you want to be a green techie, you can always look for the nearest ecoATM kiosk.
The San Diego-based company is a pioneer in the self-serve electronic gadget recycling scene. With some technological magic (machine vision, electronic diagnostics, artificial intelligence, and what have you), ecoATM gives consumers a convenient and environment friendly way of disposing of their mobile phones. Some other key points:
- Electronically and/or visually inspect virtually any consumer electronic device,
- Connects consumers in real-time with a broad worldwide secondary market to ensure best pricing, and
- Pays consumers immediately in cash and/or store credit, and
- Automatically administers trade-in / trade-up promotions for retailers and manufacturers.
The system has been around since 2011, but ecoATM mainly focused on the mobile phone market. (The kiosks also takes mp3 players, though.) This year, ecoATM broadens its services by accepting tablets. From iPads to Samsung Galaxy tabs to whatever tablet you may want to “throw” away – ecoATM kiosks will now accept them and give you money back. Here’s a glimpse of how the system works.
There are some other online services which will buy old gadgets from you, but the convenience that ecoATM brings is that the transaction is done on the spot. Even better, ecoATM takes non-working gadgets, which will fetch very low prices from other sites. The only question is whether there is a kiosk nearby. (Find an ecoATM location here.)