Omaha, Neb. - Nebraska Furniture Mart has installed an ATM-like recycling station that accepts used handsets and issues store credits in return.
The automated buy-back system, developed by San Diego-based ecoATM, accepts and electronically and/or visually inspects all mobile phones and can compensate consumers with gift cards or receipts for store credit. The company administers trade-in promotions for retailers and manufacturers, and sells the used handsets through pre-auction/auction systems to secondary market buyers and recyclers.
The system will soon support other portable CE devices regardless of their condition, ecoATM said.
The first installation of the "ecycling" station was at Nebraska Furniture Mart's Omaha shopping complex, where it went live on Sept. 21. According to Jay Buchanan, the retailer's electronics division director, "The ecoATM makes it easy and convenient for our customers to trade-in and recycle their used mobile phones. This benefits both our customers and the environment."
ecoATM described the installation as "an immediate success," based on the number of recycled handsets and the resulting trade-up purchases. "We are extremely pleased with the initial results and consumers' delight with the system," said CEO Mark Bowles. "Our automated ecoATM provides consumers and retailers an easy, convenient, incentivized method to convert those devices into real money instead of toxic waste."