eBay wants your old cell phones. The online auction site is running a two-week scheme to enable users to be paid up to a 150 US dollars for sending in used cell phones and other electrical gadgets such as iPads and iPods which are damaged or otherwise unwanted, which will then be sent for recycling. While the company has been running an Instant Sale program since late last year, the two week promotion will be paying customers considerably more to hand in their old cellular phone than has otherwise been the case.
“This Earth Day, we are looking to double down on that value by offering our customers even more cash incentive for using Instant Sale and ensuring their devices get responsibly recycled,” Gregory Boutee of eBay told USA Today. “Our goal is to help keep harmful e-waste out of landfills, not to mention preventing the need for new gadgets to be produced and shipped overseas, which is a carbon intensive process with a significant environmental impact.”
The company is not becoming involved in cell phone recycling entirely out of the goodness of its heart, of course, with eBay set to earn far more from the program than it will pay out, but nonetheless the environmental principle remains sound. “E-waste is a huge and growing problem,” USA Today notes, pointing out that such products contain toxic chemicals which leak into soil and ground water when dumped in landfills, damaging both the environment and our own health.