Startup Targets Mobile Phone Recycling

Of the 4B wireless subscribers in the world, only 1% of them recycle their handsets

March 23, 2010

2 Min Read

LAS VEGAS -- Of the 4 billion wireless subscribers in the world, only 1 percent of them recycle their handsets. In the US alone, 130 million phones are retired each year. The global e-waste problem is substantial and growing, and is the target of eRecyclingCorps, a new Dallas-based company that made its debut today at CTIA. The company will help carriers buy back used handsets from consumers and ensure they are resold or responsibly recycled.

eRecyclingCorps is transforming the wireless device ecosystem by working with carriers to establish comprehensive buy-back programs that are customized and scalable. The company deploys a web-based platform that integrates directly into the point of sale system at carrier retail stores, where 60 percent of all US phones are sold. It makes valuable consumer trade-in incentives, efficient in-store collection and strict privacy controls an integral part of every new phone purchase. By partnering with eRecyclingCorps, carriers can reclaim subsidies, increase customer loyalty, and significantly reduce downstream e-waste.

Sprint, the first carrier to use eRecyclingCorps, has deployed the system in 1,100 company owned Sprint stores and 1,400 Sprint Preferred Dealers and through its online channels. Sprint's buyback program gives customers an instant account credit for trading in eligible wireless devices. Sprint has announced an ambitious goal to achieve a wireless reuse and recycling rate of 90 percent as compared to device sales by 2017.

eRecyclingCorps was co-founded by David Edmondson, who is CEO and was previously CEO of RadioShack. Co-founder Ron LeMay is Chairman, and he was formerly President and COO of Sprint. Each executive played an important role in the growth of the wireless industry and is committed to addressing the unintended ecological consequences of its success.

"The unprecedented growth in the global wireless industry has transformed the way people live, work and play. The unintended consequence of that growth is a mountain of toxic environmental e-waste," said Edmondson, eRecyclingCorps, Founder and CEO. "We are committed to transforming the wireless eco-system through comprehensive incentives, which address both our collective responsibility to the environment and provide an economically viable solution to the growing problem of e-waste."


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