The Modern Day Recycling Dilemma: How to Safely Sell or Recycle Unwanted Cell Phones and Tablets
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The Modern Day Recycling Dilemma: How to Safely Sell or Recycle Unwanted Cell Phones and Tablets

April 9, 2014


SAN DIEGO, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — While Americans are well educated on the benefits of recycling bottles, cans and paper, the same can’t be said of electronic devices. The proliferation of new cell phones and tablets has led to a growing glut of “e-waste” piling up in people’s homes, as well as a lack of understanding about what to do with broken, unwanted or outdated devices.

According to a new survey released today by ecoATM, (, the nationwide network of automated electronics recycling kiosks, 57 percent of American device owners have idle cell phones in their homes, yet only 22 percent state they have previously recycled cell phones they no longer use.

“Electronic waste is the fastest growing segment of our waste stream, and it’s a problem that’s only getting worse as more and more new phones and tablets are coming to market each year,” said Mark Bowles, founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ecoATM. “Consumers are looking for easy and convenient ways to recycle or sell their unwanted devices, and we must continue to shift behavior when it comes to the responsible disposal of electronics that are no longer being used.”

Highlights of ecoATM’s consumer survey include:

   -- Nearly four in ten device owners (39 percent) have at least two cell
      phones, if not more, collecting dust at home, yet less than half have
      sold, recycled or given their old smartphones to someone else after using
      it (49 percent).

   -- Less than half of device owners would consider recycling old gadgets (46
      percent) even though most believe that recycling is good for the
      environment (86 percent), safe (80 percent) and worth doing (77 percent).

   -- When upgrading a device, 12 percent of device owners would consider
      throwing their old gadget away in the garbage and nearly one in three (30
      percent) would just store it somewhere in their homes.

   -- Just over half of device owners know that it's possible to recycle
      unwanted devices in drop-off bins inside cell phone provider stores (56
      percent) or online trade-in programs (55 percent), while 20 percent know
      that automated recycling kiosks exist. That said, more than one in 10 (12
      percent) incorrectly believe that placing old devices in any recycling
      bin (such as a curbside bin) could be a viable option.

Recycle Responsibly with ecoATM

ecoATM’s approximately 900 kiosks, which are located in shopping malls and select retailers nationwide, recycle consumer electronics — including mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players — to keep them out of landfills or from languishing in desk drawers, and provide instant cash payments as an incentive to recycle.

ecoATM kiosks accept devices of any era or condition, and uses a worldwide auction system to offer consumers competitive prices depending upon condition, which can include a few hundred dollars for newer smartphones. Some very old phones may not be worth anything, but with ecoATM consumers can rest assured knowing that they will be responsibly recycled. ecoATM is able to find a second life for 75 percent of devices collected. For the remaining 25 percent, ecoATM partners with certified e-waste reclamation facilities to ensure those materials are responsibly reused and recycled.

For additional survey findings or to request high-resolution images or b-roll of ecoATM kiosks, please contact [email protected]. To learn more about ecoATM or to find a kiosk, visit

*Methodology Note: The ecoATM Device Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between March 10(th) and March 17(th) and polled 1,018 nationally representative Americans aged 18 and older who own a smartphone, cell phone, MP3 player or tablet.

About ecoATM

ecoATM, a subsidiary of Outerwall Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTR), is the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system to buy back old phones, tablets or MP3 players for cash. ecoATM uses patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate electronics. ecoATM’s eCycling stations provide a convenient trade-in solution with features that validate sellers’ identities and deter the sale of stolen phones, and the company is known for its collaboration with national, state, and local law-enforcement groups in combating mobile phone theft through innovative use of technology and education


ecoATM holds both Responsible Recycling (R2) and ISO14001 certification, confirming the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of electronics recycling, as well as ISO27001 certification for information and personal data security. See for a video of how an ecoATM kiosk works. For more information, visit and for more information about Outerwall Inc. please visit

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/CONTACT: Lynsey Kehrli, Edelman for ecoATM, (206) 664-7815, [email protected]; or Amy Rice, ecoATM, (858) 766-7370, [email protected]

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