Sprint Buyback Program Named Best In The Business

With companies like Apple, Samsung, and Nokia churning out new mobile devices faster than consumers can buy them, electronic waste has become one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Since strict environmental regulations prevent these gadgets from being dumped in landfills, most are shipped off for disposal in developing nations. Unfortunately, instead overseas “recycling” operations often consist of untrained villagers burning e-waste over open fire pits in an effort to get at the precious metals within.

While responsible recycling operations do exist, it requires consumers to first realize that electronics need to be handled with care, and then to make the effort to find and deliver the devices in a timely fashion. Some say that manufacturers should be doing more to encourage customers to recycle their products. Sprint, named No. 3 on Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings, seems to have taken that advice to heart. The company was recently named the best carrier in the industry for their phone Buyback Program, according to a report released today on Mobile Device Reuse and Recycling conducted by Compass Intelligence Research.

Sprint Buyback

Image via Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock

The study was based on primary and secondary research that evaluated trade-in program capabilities of the top wireless carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and U.S Cellular. Sprint’s trade-in program, Sprint Buyback, an industry first when it launched in 2010, was considered the most rewarding and convenient out of all evaluated. The program offers customers a merchandise or service credit of up to $300 when customers trade in their eligible wireless devices, regardless of the carrier or manufacturer.

“A major factor in the success of our Buyback program is making sure all consumers know their old phone is never worth as much as it is today,” said Chad Lander, Sprint director of Phone Recycling programs. “We make it as easy and convenient as possible to get those old phones out of junk drawers. Customers see a financial benefit, and they help us keep phones out of landfills. In 2012 alone, we’ve put more than $50 million back in our customers’ pockets.”

Sprint also allows customers to sell back their devices in-store, a perk that 41 percent of all consumers surveyed said they would prefer.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • Beth – Thanks for the great coverage. I’m a member of Sprint’s Corporate Responsibility team and can confirm that product takeback and recycling is one of the company’s top three environmental priorities, along with addressing climate change (http://bit.ly/qlhAlb) and greening our product portfolio (http://bit.ly/L8FnI1). In addition, Sprint and many of largest names in the information and communications technology sector are working together to address the need for responsible recycling in developing countries that are often referred to as “digital dumping grounds”.

      Through our our membership in the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and in collaboration with the UN University and Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP), we just concluded the first E-Waste Academy. The initial session was held in Ghana. It involved thought leaders, policy makers, practitioners and stakeholders from countries including Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Lesotho, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Benin. They reviewed best practices and discussed forward-thinking solutions for the full e-waste lifecycle to help accelerate the process of building capacity for safe reuse and recycling. To learn more about the E-Waste Academy, click on the following link (http://bit.ly/Lf6FBa).

      Thanks again for championing incentives for the collection and the responsible recycling of used electronics in the story above. I appreciate your passion!

      Darren Beck
      Manager, Sprint Corporate Responsibility
      Follow me on Twitter @DarrenBeck:twitter