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Cash Gets Customers to Recycle Mobile Phones

When it comes to mobile phone recycling programs, consumers want cash, according to a Compass Intelligence report.

Mobile Phone Reuse and Recycling Survey: Understanding Consumer Behavior” finds cash is the biggest incentive in recycling phones, but very few recycling programs offer cash.

In 2011, less than 11 percent of respondents recycled phones compared to 25 percent now.

Carrier programs (both in-store and online) have led phone recycling efforts in the past, the report says. However, with increasing competition from large retailers, this lead has eroded away and consumers have numerous options to recycle devices. Increasingly, Amazon has gained momentum with its recycling program and is currently one of the market leaders.

Report highlights include:

  • Device recycling rates are on the rise; however, Compass Intelligence still sees mobile phone recycling rates (including both recycling for an incentive and for no pay out) around 25 percent.
  • End users take advantage of in-store recycling opportunities over online.
  • Carriers remain a key program option for our survey respondents.
  • Cash is the no. 1 incentive option for end users, according to this survey. Only a few programs in the market offer a cash option.
  • Customers are also interested in PayPal payments as they are similar to cash.
  • For those respondents not participating in recycling programs, they think the phone has no value and would consider going through the process a waste of time.

In September 2013 Sprint announced it has broken the world record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week — 103,582 cell phones, more than double the previous record — as certified by Guinness World Records.

Sprint is the most “eco-focused wireless carrier” according to Compass Intelligence, which presented Sprint with the award at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.



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3 thoughts on “Cash Gets Customers to Recycle Mobile Phones

  1. Incentivizing recycling is proving to be an excellent strategy. It gives consumer a reason to “do good”. It would be great if more companies and organizations would realize that.

  2. Automation of phone recycling has also fueled a massive rise in mobile phone theft as thieves can get cash for the phones within minutes. System definitely need far better controls if it’s going to succeed.

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    privately held independent scrap recycling company which assists many organizations everywhere in the entire world in recycling the
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