New ATM gives cash for old electronics

The EcoATM is the first of its kind in the valley

The EcoATM is located by the food court in the Westfield Shopping Mall in Palm Desert. (Denise Goolsby/The Desert Sun)


by Breanna Harry
Staff Reporter

Looking for a little extra cash this holiday season? The Westfield Shopping Center in Palm Desert has received a new type of ATM that gives cash for recycling old cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players. Located inside the mall by the food court, the EcoATM is the only one of its kind in the desert.

The process is actually quite simple. You first must be 18 years or older to even use the device. Then, you’ll be asked to scan your driver’s license. Checking ID helps the EcoATM deter people from trying to pawn stolen devices. At the same time, cameras are taking your picture and comparing it to your photo ID.

Once the electronic device your recycling into the EcoATM is scanned an amount will be given on how much your device will be worth. If you decide to take the EcoATM’s offer accept and take the cash. The machine will then ask you to submit your thumbprint for verification. However, if you decide to not accept the machines offer just select the “no thanks” button on the screen. The machine then slides open a drawer, and your phone is returned.

An important thing to remember before you recycle any electronic device is to make sure all personal information that might have been stored on the phone is erased. “Reset the phone, set it back to its default settings. Pull out the Sim card if you’ve got it in the phone. Do it for peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry about it.” said Anita Giani, a spokeswoman for the company behind the EcoATM.

According to the company responsible for these ATM’s there are 300 in about 20 different states. They plan to install an additional 1,000 EcoATM’s by the end of 2013.

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