Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Tech Decluttering Solution: ecoATM

I declutter on a regular basis, but one area where I tend to get stuck is tech. I have bigger items (hello, Mac tower from grad school) taking up precious space in my closet and the dreaded drawer of smaller gadgets and cords that I wish I could dump in the trash but can’t in good conscience. The good news? I just learned about, and want to share, an easy solution for the latter: ecoATM.

In a nutshell, ecoATM is a tech recycling solution. These kiosks offer an easy way to sell your old phones, tablets, and MP3 players or recycle ancient devices (like my Blackberry from 6 years ago...ahem), chargers, and other accessories (e.g., phone cases).

There are ~900 ecoATM kiosks across the US, located in malls or large retailers. I took my aforementioned ancient Blackberry to the Burlington Mall kiosk, which is right in the middle of the food court. Before you go, I recommend visiting the simple how to prepare page, but in short, all you need to do is place your device in the system, show your ID (at first I was slightly weirded out by this but the purpose is to deter thieves from using the kiosk to sell stolen phones), and follow the touch screen prompts. The kiosk examines the device and returns a value for it; the value will depend on age and condition (e.g., a device with a broken screen will obviously be less valuable than a device with an intact screen). You can choose to sell your device for cash or recycle it.

So cool, right? I also think the below facts are pretty awesome in terms of the big picture impact of these kiosks:

  • ecoATM has found a second life for 75% of devices collected, and responsibly recyles the remaining 25%.
  • ecoATM donates some or all of each transaction (ranging from $1-$300 per device) to charity.
  • In 2013, ecoATM kiosks generated a hazardous waste reduction equivalent to the weight of 267 refrigerators.
  • ecoATM recycled its two millionth device this past January, enabling the recovery or reuse of 500,000 pounds of devices -- the equivalent of three space shuttles worth of plastics, metals, and other potentially toxic materials!

So, if you've got old cell phones, tablets, or MP3 players, definitely check out ecoATM -- below is an image of what the kiosks look like, and it's super handy that they're in mall locations so you can make a quick stop while doing other errands. Now, if only I could stuff my old Mac tower in one of these kiosks!

Image credits: ecoATM

Disclosure: This post represents an editorial partnership with ecoATM; opinions on its recycling awesomeness are, of course, my own.


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