ecoATM’s Cell Phone Recycling Kiosks

Published on January 16th, 2015 | by

ecoatm screenshot of machine

The average American cell phone is upgraded every 18 months, but less than 20 percent of the discarded phones are recycled annually.  The other 80 percent ends up in desk drawers, or worse, in landfills. However, ecoATM is changing the wasteful lifecycle of cell phones and other electronic devices like tablets or MP3 players.

Maria Stipp, president of ecoATM says, “ecoATM combats the e-waste problem by making electronics recycling easy for consumers – reuse and recycling is a part of our business and has been in our DNA from the start.”

Self-Serve Kiosks with Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence

With the first and only automated kiosk that buys back used consumer electronics directly from consumers, ecoATM uses automated self-serve kiosks with patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate electronics. 

Nationally, ecoATM has 1,510 kiosks in operation, and has collected over three million devices. In San Diego County, California, alone, ecoATM has safely collected nearly 200,000 devices since 2010 – that’s almost three devices for every seat in Qualcomm Stadium.

Residents of San Diego County have been paid more than $3 million for their devices through ecoATM’s network of 36 kiosks in the county. The ecoATMs are currently installed at Vons and Ralphs locations, shopping malls, and a Nexcom Navy Exchange in downtown San Diego.

Responsible Recycling (R2) Certification

ecoATM Holding Responsible Recycling (R2) and ISO14001 certification, ecoATM confirms their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of electronics recycling. They also hold ISO27001 certification for information and personal data security. 

ecoATM’s kiosks provide a convenient recycling solution with features that validate sellers’ identities. In this way, through their innovative use of technology, paying for stolen phones is deterred. ecoATM also collaborates with national, state, and local law-enforcement groups in order to help combat mobile phone theft.

Acquired in 2013 by Outerwall, Inc.

Acquired in July 2013 by Outerwall, the partnership has proved extremely successful. Outerwall, Inc. has more than 20 years of experience creating some of the most profitable spaces for their retail partners. The company mission is to create breakthrough kiosk experiences that delight consumers and generate revenue for retailers.

Not only presiding over ecoATMs, Outerwall is the brilliant company behind Redbox® entertainment, and Coinstar® money services. Outerwall™ kiosks are in neighborhood grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchants, shopping malls, and other retail locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

ecoATM’s Positive Economic Impact

In addition to ecoATM’s positive environmental impact from recycling electronic devices, ecoATM is also a part of the San Diego innovation economy. Employing nearly 300 full-time employees, ecoATM also maintains direct and indirect relationships with vendors and partners, such as D&K Engineering, Pitney Bowes, and Loomis. Through these relationships, ecoATM positively impacts thousands more individuals in the San Diego innovation economy.

Scott Dennis, CEO at D&K Engineering, says, “We’ve been a part of ecoATM’s history since it was part of the EvoNexus Incubator and we’ve worked in lock step as the company has grown – from raising money, spinning out of the Incubator and its July 2013 acquisition by Outerwall.” Dennis continued, “San Diego has a strong and growing technology community; ecoATM and D&K are great examples of where manufacturing and innovation meet to spur local jobs and community relationships.”

Now Pursuing LEED Gold Certification

Extending their commitment to San Diego’s innovation economy, ecoATM is furthering their sustainability efforts in the region. Recently unveiling their new environmentally friendly office space in Sorrento Valley, California, the new building is over 53,000 square feet and was constructed to meet LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements with a Gold certification expected.

In designing the new ecoATM office building for LEED Gold certification, specific sustainability features of the building included over 30 percent recycled content employed in construction products, including insulation, carpets, and concrete. Office furniture and seating averaged 49 percent recycled content. The energy in use for office lighting is 20 percent below the industry standard, facilitated by installing LEDs, occupancy sensors, and efficient lighting controls.

Putting ecoATM Brand Values Into Action

Additionally, ecoATM installed three EV charging stations allowing for free charging during the workday, and encouraging employees to switch to electric vehicles. Efficient water fixtures were also installed, reducing water usage in the building by 32 percent, compared to conventional fixtures. With California experiencing perennial droughts, these water conserving plumbing fixtures are critical for helping to reduce the burden on the municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

Commenting at the launch of the new LEED office building, ecoATM President Maria Stipp said, “Our patented kiosks, device collection milestones, environmental commitments, and now our new building, are perfect examples of putting our brand values into action.” Stipp continued, “Our planned LEED certification underscores ecoATM’s environmental commitment, which extends beyond recycling electronic devices to everything the company does.”
 
To learn more about how an ecoATM kiosk works, click here, or watch this video:


About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid is a native of Long Beach, California, residing in Egypt. Besides being the Site Director and a writer for InspiredEconomist.com, she also writes for PlanetSave.com and EdenKeeper.org. A retired Computer Engineer with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, her latest work published for the DoD was "Personal Financial Management." Commissioned by Congress, this award winning 10-course training set is hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, and is mandatory financial training for every branch of the US Military.