Friday, January 7, 2011

Marketing Cell Phone Recycling

Niece Andrea wondered why Apple didn't have a recycling program in place when she upgraded from an older iPhone to a new model last week. The Apple Genius didn't even know how she could recycle her old iPhone elsewhere.

If you Google "cell phone recycling," the top entry is an EPA page with links to plenty of companies that recycle old cell phones, from ATT to Verizon.

Since ATT had the iPhone exclusively for a long time, I'm disappointed that Apple's store staff isn't (apparently) aware that ATT recycles cell phones from the public.

Then I searched for "Apple iPhone recycling" and discovered that Apple has a recycling program for iPods and "mobile phones." Recycle a used iPod at an Apple Store and you get 10% off a new iPod. That's a well kept secret!

Better marketing is needed on this, Apple. Ideally, Apple should be a high-profile leader in partnering to recycle the millions of old iPhones that owners don't want after they upgrade. Apple, you have such great marketing, you could do a lot of good by marketing iPhone recycling.

By the way, Fast Company did a story the other day on e-Cycle, a firm that pays cash for used iPhones and iPads (shipping is free too). I don't know this firm at all, but it seems worth checking out.

Lots of other companies/organizations have phone recycling programs. Google says there are 1.4 million "hits" for the search phrase "cell phone recycling." Just remember to do your homework before you send anything to anybody, and wipe all personal data off before recycling your devices!

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