San Francisco — Online cellphone retailer LetsTalk.com announced a partnership today with RIPMobile that is designed to help consumers recycle and receive rewards for unused cellphones.
Through its partnership, LetsTalk will offer consumers LetsTalk gift certificates for sending in working, unused cellphones. For phones that are no longer working, RIPMobile will recycle the phones, eliminating toxins that are released when a phone is disposed of incorrectly. Working cellphones will be refurbished and resold by RIPMobile.
Those interested in sending in their phone can visit www.letstalk.com to find the manufacturer and model of their phone. The site will calculate how much a working phone can earn in LetsTalk Rewards, which are credits on LetsTalk.com that can be used for future cellphone and accessories purchases.
A free downloadable postage-paid mailing label is provided to ship the phone to RIPMobile. After RIPMobile has confirmed the phone is working (no service is needed), LetsTalk will reportedly generate a gift certificate. If the handset isn't in working order, or if the phone isn’t listed as having any wholesale remarketable value, RIPMobile will recycle the cellphone for free.
According to a release from RIPMobile, there are currently 700 million mobile phones waiting to be recycled in the United States, either sitting at home or already in the waste stream. Each year at least 130 million phones are added to the waste stream, said the company, which can leak toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic into a water supply.
"With the number of cellphone users in the U.S. pushing well past 200 million and many of those users upgrading their phones every year or two, the stakes have never been higher. We need to do everything in our power to reduce the environmental impact from all those unused cellphones,” said Delly Tamer, LetsTalk.com CEO.