In an effort to find a convenient and profitable way to recycle discarded electronics, ecoATM has raised more than $14 million to place eCycling kiosks
in stores across the U.S. Each kiosk pays people who recycle their e-waste by giving them either cash or coupons from the store where the machine is located. All you have to do is drop off that old BlackBerry, iPod or other device at the kiosk. The ecoATM
will then automatically calculate the value of the device, and pay you for it on the spot. It's instant gratification, which could be a crucial aspect in convincing Americans to recycle their old electronics instead of throwing them in the trash. Like it or not, most people are more likely to eCycle if they can do it during a trip to the grocery store or Best Buy.
If this automated system sounds familiar, that's because Coinstar -- the company that operates the DVD rental kiosks called Redbox -- is one of the primary investors in ecoATM kiosks. We can't turn a corner or enter a store without seeing a Redbox, so that gives us hope that ecoATMs will catch on. The plan, however, was to place 200 kiosks across the U.S. by the end of last year
. Unfortunately, for now anyway, there are only a handful of machines -- located primarily on the West Coast.