Rather than asking for consumers to take extra steps, eRecyclingCorps designed a buyback business model for people to trade in their old cellphones right where and when they buy their new ones – at their carrier’s retail stores. The three-year-old startup founded by former CEOs of Radio Shack and Sprint says it has recycled more than 2.5 million devices since its inception, and just received $35 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to expand the business internationally, especially in developing countries.
ERecyclingCorps’ approach focuses on ease and convenience. The company makes it easy for customers to bring their old phones into participating carriers’ retail stores (where 60 percent of U.S. cell phones are purchased) and receive cash credit, discounts and other rewards immediately. Most importantly, with its Web-based platform that integrates directly with stores’ POS systems, eRecyclingCorps has made it easy for their partners, Sprint and Verizon, to offer the service at 3,000 and 550 stores, respectively.
As people unwrap new iPhones, Blackberrys, and Droid devices this holiday season, their old models will pile on top of the estimated 130 million mobile phones that will be retired in the U.S. during 2011.
While that iPhone 3G might not be exciting to you anymore, eRecyclingCorps seeks to transform the “perceived obsolescence” into a green business opportunity, giving your phone a second life by reselling in other world markets. With the infusion of $35 million and international expansion, they’re set up to take an even bigger bite out of the e-waste problem in 2012.