Got an electronic gizmo that is no longer showing life signs? Is your desk drawer getting crowded with all those cell phones you have retired and keep promising to find a new home for? Good news. Today is America Recycles Day (ARD). While there is no lack of places to recycle your electronic gear, a few companies are working to make the task a bit sweeter for customers.
Sprint buy-back incentive
Sprint, which last year out-matched its competitors in the number of recycled cell phones it brought in, is offering an incentive for customers who turn in an old cell phone in honor of ARD. In addition to the various monetary incentives it offers throughout the year for recycling electronic media, the company is offering $20 for each phone surrendered for recycle. And they don’t have to work. They also don’t have to be Sprint phones. “The Sprint Buyback Program is an important program for customers that also just happens to benefit our business” Kendra Wright said. Wright serves as director to Sprint Nextel’s Reverse Logistics and Device Quality department. The company doesn’t just recycle phone parts; when it can, it refurbishes the phone and sells it as a “pre-used” device that gets a second life.
The buy back is only available at stores in San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
“By collecting and reusing millions of devices a year, we spend less buying new devices.” That also means there are less phones out there that could potentially end up in land fills or – ahem – desk drawer. And there’s another benefit for customers says Sprint: cost. Customers who are willing to buy a “pre-loved” phone pay less for the device. But don’t delay. The offer is only valid on Nov. 15 in honor of ARD.
Ongoing trade-in programs
Apple, Walmart and Gazelle are all offering trade-in programs for iPhones. These companies actually take in a wide selection of electronic equipment beyond iPhones. Of course, the price the store will pay will depend upon condition and the type of media. These commercial programs, which each come with their own terms, extend beyond Nov. 15. Environmental organizations that have helped to expose the pollution and problems caused by tin mining can at least take heart that with each phone recycled, there’s all the less demand for more tin from the islands of Bangka and Belitung.
Cell phone users that aren’t really worried about earning cash but want to see their devices go to a good nonprofit cause that can refurbish and reuse them can find a short list of good, reputable organizations on the Earth911 website that take donated equipment like smartphones. There are also options for donating other types of needed materials as well. At the very least, cell phone users will know their phone’s second life will donated to a good purpose.