Remember when we were kids and we’d ask our neighbors for odd jobs to make a buck or two? I spent many a summer picking leaves out of flower beds or mowing lawns under the hot Texas sun trying to make a little dough. All of this work was probably good for me, but like most kids I dreamt of ways to make money centered on a passion of mine. Comic books and role playing games frequently where the focus of poor business plans. Yes, I am a nerd.
In today’s world, we’re told to think globally and act locally. Well, a startup founded by Mark Bowles has made an ATM that pays you cash for your old cell phones. It’s called the ecoATM.
Cell phones are ubiquitous on a global basis. Recently, the number of mobile devices outsold the number of PCs. Remember all the brouhaha regarding PCs and land fills? How companies were getting into trouble shipping their electronics off to China for disposal? Cell phones are smaller and can enter a landfill buried in used kitty litter, and no one would be the wiser.
This is bad because cell phones have all kinds of toxic elements in them. Mercury and brominated flame retardants can be found on circuit boards. Mercury can also be found in batteries. The chips, resistors, capacitors, and circuit boards all have chemicals in or on them that really should be disposed of differently than burying it.
Next thing you know, there will be kids knocking on your door to asking for your old cell phones.