August 17, 2010

Business News - Coinstar buys into ecoATM

Investment in ecoATM by Coinstar. Recycling mobile phones (or smartphones or iphones or ipads) now a growth line for Coinstar.

Coinstar Going After E-Waste Market | Reuters

by Thomas Miner

Coinstar, a U.S. based kiosk operator with brands that include its flagship Coinstar machines as well as the popular "redbox" DVD rental kiosks in supermarkets, has announced an undisclosed investment in ecoATM, a maker of kiosks which pays consumers for recycling their old electronics. EcoATM currently has pilot kiosks in several U.S. markets and, with the additional investment monies, to expand throughout the United States and enter international markets in the next 3 years.

The company's kiosks visually and electronically scan used devices such as mobile phones, ipods and laptops brought by customers for recycling to establish their cash value and pay consumers immediately. ecoATM has partnerships with over 50 companies who collect the ewaste and either resell the products or properly recycle them.

Greg Kaplan, President and CEO of Coinstar, sees ecoATM as an innovative business model that will add substantial value to Coinstar: "We believe ecoATM could be a viable business as it provides an easy way for consumers to properly resell and/or recycle the more than $7 billion in used mobile phones that are annually retired in the U.S. while creating a sustainable secondary market for these devices." The kiosks also help deal with a mounting e-waste problem around the world.

According to the Basel Convention there are approximately 6 billion tons of hazardous e-waste currently improperly dealt with across the globe. Some electronics retailers have been instituting electronics take-back programs, but ecoATM is the first to pay consumers for the end-of-life value of their assets.

Posted by staff at August 17, 2010 03:30 PM