By Ron Marasco
If you're looking for some quick cash for that old cell phone, you're in luck. Some of our metro malls house what are called ecoATM's. One's located in the food court of the Valley West Mall.
"The machine can identify over 4,000 different types of devices," said Ryan Kuder, director of marketing and communication at ecoATM in San Diego.
Nearly 350 ecoATM's recycle hundreds of thousands of cell phones in the U.S. every year.
"ecoATM accepts devices in all conditions," said Kuder. "We take broken phones, phones that don't turn on. The reason we do that is because we believe it's more important for these phones to be recycled than to wind up in landfills."
According to ecoATM, cell phones thrown into U.S. landfills each year would fill a freight train 20 miles long. In one year, one ecoATM prevents nearly 26,000 tons of toxic mining waste, and the equivalent of taking 21 houses off the grid, and three cars off the road."
"I think that it's very convenient and it's awesome that it saves the environment," said mall shopper Tessa Schiltz of Norwalk.
Nokia estimates 74% of us are not even aware we can recycle our old cell phones.
Fifteen year-old Chaz Ridenour of Newton wanted to sell his partially working I-phone 4. The ecoATM offered him $21. He declined.
"It's a good idea in case you have an older phone, and it's not really a phone that someone would like to buy, and just sell it and get some quick cash."
The machines not only accept cell phones, but they also take mp3 players and tablets.