South Burlington's University Mall surprised its patrons with the installation of an "ecoATM". At this automated self-serve kiosk, people can have their old phones, MP3 players, or tablets evaluated and bought back. It's a quick, convenient, and eco-friendly way to discard unwanted gadgetry and prevent electronics from being sold illegally.

What Does the Eco-Friendly ATM Do?

With technology rapidly evolving consumers have always had a problem getting rid of old gadgetry. Unwanted tech accumulates at home, is dumped in the trash can, or is resold. If discarded with the garbage, electronic waste can pose a serious risk to the environment whereas buying old products keeps the illegal trade in electronics alive.

With the "ecoATM", made available to consumers by the San Diego company of the same name, both these problems are avoided. Up to three-quarters of submitted phones are resold or refurbished and the rest are recycled, so electronic waste is significantly reduced. What's more, as all the products come under the scanner, any attempt to sell off stolen property will be discouraged.

So, how does the "ecoATM" work? It connects a product with a cable, then using artificial intelligence it tests the product's buttons, screen, and functions, makes an analysis, and delivers cash on the spot. However, the service can be used only after a driver's license and fingerprints are submitted to verify that the customer is at least 18 and that the gadget hasn't been stolen.

While the ecoATM adds an exciting new dimension to the shopping experience, it also helps shoppers recover costs. While one customer made only a dollar reselling an old cellphone, you can get up to $250 for an item. Consumers have the option of taking all the cash or donating some of it to a favorite charity.

People Preferring an Eco-Friendly ATM

The “green” revolution is gaining momentum, with the demand for products that are biodegradable or recyclable greater than ever before. Not surprisingly, increasing numbers of companies are focusing on environmentally friendly products, not just in their main product lines, but in their promotional efforts as well. By using eco-friendly promotional items, they send out a clear signal to their consumers that they are progressive and environmentally-conscious, earning their goodwill and long-term support. Eco-friendly promotional items, which are popular with the youth, range from pens and pen drives to bags, tumblers, and headphone holders made from recyclable materials.