ecoATM Recycles 17 Elephants Worth of Cell Phones

old cell phone

1 million gadgets and counting… That’s how many outdated, broken or otherwise unwanted electronic gadgets ecoATM has helped keep out of landfills. ecoATM is a California-based e-waste recycling company which sets up small “ATM-like” automated kiosks at various locations around the United States giving you access to instant cash for feeding it cell phones, old tablets and MP3 players.

Cell phones have been around for 40 years now, and there are about 7 billion of them worldwide. The popularity of tablets is at an all-time high, and technology seems to evolve by the minute, making the cutting edge device in your possession virtually obsolete within a year or two.

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E-waste makes up a major portion of trash generated in the U.S. each year. The EPA estimates that in 2009 alone, 2.37 million tons of e-waste was disposed of by businesses and consumers. Only about 25% of which was recycled.

"By 2020, there will be so many old, unused or broken electronics, they could fill enough dump trucks to circle the globe twice," said Tom Tullie, Chairman and CEO of ecoATM. "Hitting the one million mark is encouraging. People are recognizing that eWaste is a real problem and that there are convenient solutions for responsibly disposing of unwanted electronics."

ecoATM Kiosks

Hitting the 1 million mark is quite a feat for a small startup like ecoATM, although it hardly makes a dent in the e-waste problem in America.

Luckily, there are plenty of other options for recycling your old phone, tablet or electronic gadget for cash. The key point here is to avoid simply tossing old phones and MP3 players in the trashcan – electronic devices contain potentially toxic metals that can leach into area waterways.

If you’re wondering what eliminating 1 million gadgets from circulation actually does for the environment, ecoATM put together a handy infographic to help you visualize its impact.

Infographic showing cell phone recycling statistics