Two former CEOs have banded together to create a new initiative aimed at giving consumers the option of recycling their old mobile phones before tossing them in a landfill.
Ron LeMay, former Sprint CEO, will join David Edmonson, former RadioShack CEO, and invite subscribers to return old mobile phones in exchange for store credit on a new phone.
The two have created eRecyclingCorps during the CTIA Wireless conference, and aims to give its partners options and incentives to help increase electronic-waste awareness.
“We are committed to transforming the wireless ecosystem through comprehensive incentives, which address both our collective responsibility to the environment and provide an economically viable solution to the growing problem of e-waste,” eRecyclingCorps said in a statement.
It seems Edmondson plans to offer some type of buy-back plan that can be utilized by phone carriers in-store. Each phone sent to eRecyclingCorps from stores will lead to Sprint and other locations receiving a fee for every phone produced.
Many phones end up in land fills, where they can be extremely harmful to the Earth — or sold to companies overseas that use child labor to unsafely dismantle products. Around 130 million phones are tossed away each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but just 10 percent of those products are recycled.
There have also been initiatives launched in the United States and Europe in the past to recycle old phones so that they can be re-used in developing nations.
I applaud both LeMay and Edmonson for their efforts to help convince consumers to recycle their phones. This is a clever ploy to re-sell used phones in emerging markets while also generating revenue for its part of the business plan.