When you recycle your cell phone you help keep potentially dangerous elements from local landfills. It’s a positive move for the planet. It’s worth your time and effort, but have you ever thought about what happens after you drop your phone into a donation receptacle? It can be a simple one step process, but it can also get complicated. Take a look at Eco-Cell’s electronics recycling program.
Eco-Cell is a Louisville based electronics recycling company that works primarily with non profits. They have recycling partnerships with 110 zoos. They are also the official recycling company for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Recycling electronics raises funds for these organizations, it also helps to reduce the continued strain on African Gorilla habitats where coltan is mined for use in electronic devices.
Eco-Cell’s unique recycling operation processes not only cell phones but also cell phone accessories, ipods, MP3 players, game units, laptops and other hand-held electronic devices by major manufacturers.
Can you participate in Eco-Cell’s recycling program if you’re not a nonprofit?
Eco-Cell works with non profit organizations but they will accept recyclables from individual businesses or contractors under these guideline:
-Register online or contact Eco-Cell to register by phone 888-326-3357.
-Complete a W-9 and return it by mail or fax.
-No payment will be issued until Eco-Cell has your W-9 on file.
-Eco-Cell will issue a 1099 if they pay you $600. or more in a year
How much does Eco-Cell pay for recyclable electronics?
Prices for recycled items vary depending on manufacturer, model and condition. Eco-Cell will give you an estimate on specific items if you contact them by phone: 888-326-3357.
Shipping your electronic items
For your convenience, the Eco-Cell site has free printable shipping labels to mail in your recyclable items for processing.
Remove personal data from your devices
Once received, phones and electronic devices are redistributed to several companies for final disposition. Some companies remove your personal data, others don’t. If you prefer that your personal information not end up in a strangers hands, delete the information before you donate your items.
What happens after Eco-Cell receives your donated electronics?
Eco-Cell sells phone handsets to refurbishing companies. These companies send them to developing markets and low income users. They also donate some refurbished phones to organizations for emergency use, but that’s just one potential stop for your donated electronic equipment.
Phones that cannot be recycled
Eco-Cell sends phones that can’t be resold or recycled to Umicore for further processing. Umicore is an international “materials technology group” with multiple locations around the globe. They are a world leader in precious metals recycling.
AccessFTC is a Loveland, Colorado based company. Eco-Cell forwards electronics batteries to AccessFTC for recycling. The company also works with non profit organizations to help them earn money through their electronics recycling program.
Accessories from collected electronic devices are sent to HOBI International in Batavia, Illinois. The company specializes in resale and recycling of “cellular assets.” They also have a parts recovery division that disassembles electronic devices for repair parts. HOBI ensures “all hazardous and non-hazardous materials are recovered and processed in an environmentally sound manner…”
Eco-Cell has helpful online materials to help your fundraiser
If you intend to solicit donated electronics for a non profit fundraiser, Eco-Cell has posters, post cards, fliers and other informative resource materials to help you. They also have downloadable scripts to assist you in asking for donations.