September 24, 2006
Company rings up sales by recycling cellular phones
What began as a side venture for a computer refurbishing company 15 years ago has evolved into a cell phone recycling empire with $40 million in sales and more than 250 employees. The Clarion Ledger reports on one company's amazing success story.
"In the last five months, ReCellular Inc. went from restoring 400 phones a month to 300,000 phones, largely from a partnership with cell phone companies including Verizon, Cingular and T-Mobile. The companies give their cellular customers postage-paid envelopes to donate their old phones when they trade them in.
Industry researcher Blumberg & Associates says ReCellular claims 53 percent of the market.
... The antiquated phones the recycling company receives get new faces, and the data on them are erased. Then they're sold in the United States and in more than 30 other countries. Overseas, refurbished phones sell for an average of $18, but some range from $40 to $100.
Refurbished phones are in high demand in developing countries where cell phone service differs greatly from that used in the United States, Newman said.
GRC has 13 percent of the market, while RMS has 9 percent and CollectiveGood 7 percent.
... An estimated 3.5 million phones have been donated to charity since such programs began in 1999."
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