Electronic Recycling Means Money in the Pockets

By Derek Kham

EctoATMs are appearing in certain states to make recycling  unwanted electronics easy while paying for your contribution.

If you have seen a kiosk labeled ectoATM around Lancaster, don’t put your debit card in it. Instead put your unwanted electronics in them. ectoATMs are appearing in all over the United States, these include Lancaster county and other surrounding areas, to make recycling unwanted electronics easy. In lieu of recycling unwanted electronic in these ectoATM kiosk, you will receive a reward for your contribution.

ecoATM APP photo by Derek Kham

ecoATM at Walmart: Credited by Derek Kham

In an age where technology has become

prevalent in today’s society; mass production of electronics is in order to satisfy the ever-growing demands for them. But every so often, newer and better technology appears to replace the current ones, allowing for companies to keep up with societies’ needs when using them. For example, Apple has the tendency to release a newer and better phone every year to keep up with trends and competition against rival companies.

Photo by Derek Kham

However, with newer technology being produced every so often, the physical shell of outdated technologies creates a graveyard of unwanted technology. So, what do you do if you have unwanted technology that is sitting around collecting dust? Throw it away in the trash? That doesn’t seem to be a feasible solution to get rid of it because these electronics contain toxic and hazardous materials such arsenic, lead, and mercury that is very harmful to human and environmental health. How about giving your unwanted technology a proper disposal through a company that specializes in recycling them? That’s why ecoATMs were developed, to combat the increase of e-waste. These kiosks will recycle all unwanted technology while keeping earth clean and green.

“The goal of ecoATM is to have a positive impact on the environment through responsible recycling including the conservation of metals, plastic, and other non-renewable resources. ecoATM is committed to accomplishing its business objectives while meeting the environmental, health, and safety expectations of stakeholders including our management, employees, customers, suppliers, and regulators.”

During the recycling process, these electronics contain rare and precious metal “deposits” that are 40 to 50 times richer than newly mined ores according Sustainable Electronics Recycling International. In addition, many electronic parts can be repurposed and made into new products. This will result in significantly less energy use than mining and processing virgin materials. These materials include gold, silver, and copper.

In 2019, ecoATM has recycled more than 19 million devices in its span of operations. Here what recycling 19 million devices equate to. Based on 2018, the data was generated using the United States Protection Agency’s Electronic Product Assessment Tool (EPEAT).

In weight:

  • 4,750,000 pounds of recycled cell phones
  • 190 school buses weighing 25,000 pounds each
  • 16 blue whales weighing 300,000 pounds each


  • 8,311 tons of omission
  • 2,888 cars on the road
  • Electricity from 37,639 households in one year

Materials recovered:

  • 1,425 pounds of gold
  • 14,668 pounds
  • 670,206 pounds of copper

Timeline on how to get started: 

1) Find the nearest ecoATM to you. 

2) Prepare your device for resell. 

  • Transfer any personal content 
  • Disconnect your old phones from contracts or ownership 
  • Reset phone to “factory” settings to allow no one to access your information. 

3) Remove any stickers or covers to allow ecoATM to properly scan and recognize the device.  

4) Gather any accessories to recycle (no money will be given). 

Covered Devices Recovery Act

On January 24, 2013, by law, Penn waste is not allowed to collect your electronic waste that you place on the curb. This law is through the Covered Devices Recovery Act which prohibits residents and businesses from placing their electronic waste at the curb or in the trash.

Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority offers recycling for state required “covered devices” — computers, TVs, e-readers and associated accessories — along with a variety of other electronics including cameras, cell phones and video game consoles. Only drop offs from Lancaster County residents will be accepted.”

Mining Old Devices for Treasure 

Gold recycling is becoming a vital story in today’s society. Three years ago, Apple recovered more than $40 million worth of gold from old gadgets. Your old devices contain rare metals called rare earths that is contained in a lot of our electronics, automobile, and green energy product on the market. These metals are the fuse that supercharges our technology, bringing us higher speeds, better performance, longer lifespans, and greater efficiency. However, it does require a lot of devices to mine for these materials if you have a knack for mining them. So, the next time you decide to discard your old broken devices, just remember there is hidden treasures within them. 

If you’re thinking about recycling your unwanted technology, visit a Lancaster PA self-service ecoATM kiosk near you or the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.

ecoATM Locations: Credited by Derek Kham

Key Stakeholders

ecoATM Gazelle:

EcoATM is a company that believes in giving a second life to old and unwanted devices. They believe in reducing electronic waste and finding value in these devices. To consumers, they offer a safe and simple way to trade, buy and sell your devices while creating a healthier planet for future generations. Every day, they strive on being on top as the world champs of e-recycling and lifecycle management. It is their commitment to work hand and hand with their customers to enhance the experience and value, while making good things happen every part of the consumers electronics lifecycle.  

Together, we’re here to change how the world thinks about pre-owned consumer technology and make a lasting, positive impact on the world we live in”. – ecoATM Gazelle 


EcoATM. (n.d.). Sell Your Old Cell Phones & Tablets for Cash. Retrieved April 17, 2019, from

Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2019, from

Bunn, Rachel. “Here’s Where You Can Recycle Electronics Locally.”,, 28 Jan. 2016,