Old Phones Make Cash Registers Ring

Save the environment

By Lindsay Hood
|  Monday, Sep 27, 2010  |  Updated 3:09 PM PDT
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It’s called an EcoATM. It does dispense cash, but it doesn't require a pin and a bank card, all it needs is your old electronics, specifically your old cell phones and iPods.

The EcoATM allows you to recycle your old cell phone for cash. Depending on the quality of the phones, the EcoATM can pay out anywhere from $2 for a Nokia to $191 for an iPhone in good condition, said an EcoATM sales representative at Horton Plaza. He said a Blackberry in good condition could go for $30 - $60.

The amount paid off for each phone varies, said EcoATM spokesperson Anita Giani.

The phones are auctioned off in advance, Giani said.

There are over 50 companies out there that buy used phones, she said. Giani says those companies then sell them to other countries or to insurance companies in the US to replace phones for insured consumers.

The amount paid is based on the pre-auction price, so the amount paid for each phone will vary.

It is the first kiosk of its kind to accept cell phones. It also accepts iPods and MP3 players.

The company hopes to eventually collect old computers and electronic games, Giani said.

The EcoATM is backed by Coinstar, the people who make the green machine that counts your coins for you at your neighborhood market.

According to EcoATM Co-Founder Mark Bowles, the EcoAtm makes it easy for consumers to give their used phones a second life or to recycle them.

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