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ecoATM – Cash for Mobile Devices (Which I May or May Not Hoard)

There might be a Palm Pilot in my nightstand drawer right now. There was definitely an iPhone 4 (not even a 4s) on my dresser up until last week. It didn’t do much of anything and hadn’t been moved except for dusting for years. So because I do everything for you guys (and because ecoATM asked me to and sponsored this post) I found an ecoATM and brought in for cash. I’d been waiting for an electronic equipment recycling day but this seemed like a better idea.

I went over to the mall in Burbank and used the machine much like you’d use any ATM but instead of putting in my bank card I put in my phone and it’s information. Kind of like this.

Except that I was standing near a food court so instead of background music there was the melody of 57 kids screaming for more soda. My useless-to-me iPhone was exchanged for cash and then we drove around the corner to IKEA for 387 meatballs.

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There are a lot of places to sell your old mobile devices (this includes tablets) but they aren’t all created equally.

ecoATM is able to provide a “second life” for 75% of the items turned in and they partner with eWaste facilities for the remaining 25%. They’re recycled more than 2,000,000 devices with includes more than 1,544 pounds of silver, 70,000 pounds of copper and 500,000 pounds of devices (or roughly the weight of 8,400 third graders).

ecoATM fits in our life well. I’m a ten a day person, meaning I throw out ten items every day of my life. I seldom throw out tech though, which is weird because it’s the thing that becomes obsolete faster than anything else. When my kids give me ten pieces of clothing they’re no longer interested in I’ll buy them one new thing they don’t need (and many more they do need). I’m typically really good about clutter and keeping the volume of stuff out of the house but old phones and tablets have been a problem for me. The kids are begging to go back to the ecoATM to drop off more stuff and get cash. It’s perfect in the summertime, teaches them the value of things in ways I hadn’t expected.


The kids had a chance to see that even non working phones have value in their parts, that the metals which comprise them can be reused and kept out of the landfill. Also, malls. When it’s hot out and you want a day in the mall it gets pricey quick. At least if you visit an ecoATM there’s some cash flow in.

Your old phones and tablets cannot be recycled in your blue bins. I want to shout this from the rooftops. It’s really important to bring old electronics to an eWaste facility or drop off. Naturally an ecoATM will pay you but at a minimum can I please use this platform to keep your mobile phones out of the landfill?

There are 900 ecoATMs in 42 states. I’d love to see what you guys find around your house. I hope someone has something more humiliating than my mid 90’s Palm Pilot.