What to Do with Old Electronic Devices

They are there. You know they are. Old cell phones, several of them, tossed in the back of a little used drawer, hidden from view, and thus, your mind. You might well have laptops, MP3 players, and camcorders tucked in closets or put away safely in the storage building. Why? Are you going to use them again? Sure you are. Like never. Some of you take them to the dump, donate them, or trade them in when you get a new phone. All plausible alternatives. But there is another way.

eco-ATMs. It’s a way to recycle those old devices and make a little money for the holidays. I just discovered there was a ‘station’ in the town next to mine, about twenty minutes away. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am going to very shortly. I saw it on TV and thought what a great idea. Technology has geared us toward a kiosk type of way to make a transaction. From bank ATM’s to sports venue kiosks where you pick up your ticket from a machine instead of standing in a long line. So why not a kiosk for old cell phones? Makes sense.  If the phone can be sold on the secondary market, you get cash right then, right there at the kiosk.

If you like to recycle this is the idea for you. You just lay the phone in the provided opening and plug it in with the provided cord. The machine will scan the device and a built in camera inspects the outside to let you how much it is worth. If you have a really old phone, you might not get anything, but many at least give you $5. If the phone is less than two years old you can get a lot more. Larger devices may have to be mailed into the company, but they provide the mailing label.

I mentioned MP3 devices, video games, camcorders and laptops because the company expects to expand to include those devices soon. Worried about your data? The machine erases it all.

This company is based in San Diego, California. The website is www.ecoatm.com.

I don’t do as much recycling as I should, but I do watch the electronic devices pile up in my closets. I’m not a hoarder, at all, but I do tend to tell myself, I might use that later. This causes a grimace from my husband who is super organized. I think it’s great to recycle ewaste. Ah! A new word we now must get used to. Ewaste.

I plan to take a physical inventory of all the electronics I have stored away and study the eco atm website to see how I might get a little money back out these, now, obsolete items. I understand they usually don’t sell the item as a whole, but recycle the components. If I can recycle some of these dinosaurs in my drawers and closets, life will be easier in the Wiseman household and space will be cleared to store other items never again used. We all have ‘stuff’. Do we really need all that ‘stuff’? Oh, if I could just be like my super organized husband and chunk it right away, it would lessen my anxiety attacks!

Patty Wiseman is author of An Unlikely Beginning. Click here to read more about the book and purchase a copy direct from Amazon. 

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