I Love2Recycle: Cellphone Recycling à la Française

It’s all about being green.

Inc. Magazine published an article last month on San Diego-based ecoATM, a start-up developing kiosk or ATM-like machines where people can deposit their old cellphones for cash. Sounds like a brilliant idea. I remember seeing a company that wanted to do the exact same thing at a Silicon Valley Launch event last year (or maybe it was them).  

Best part: the ATM still gives you cash.

For ecoATM, a used Blackberry or iPhone goes for $50 to $55. They estimate around $12.2 billion worth of used phones are just sitting in people’s drawers, waiting to be cashed-in.

Not so fast.

Why lug your phones around to track down one of these silly machines when you could just slip your phone in the mail? With the machines, there may also be the added possibility of a technical slip leaving you with a little less cash than you bargained for.

2 sites that do the trick: Love2Recycle and MonExTel.

France’s Love2Recycle.fr (Love2Recycle.com) is an inititaive put forward by LaPoste and Anovo, buying used phones for up to €250. Users log-on to the site, select the phone they want to turn in, send it and then receive their check in the mail.

Another site that works in a similar fashion is MonExTel.com. The company behind the site, Recommerce Solutions, buys the phones, which are then repaired by Ateliers du Bocage and resold.

Oh, and of course there is always the Telcos.

Bouygues Telecom, for example, is launching their mobile phone recycling program on January 18. Although mobile phones recycled through their site will go to MonExTel.com.

Great short term solution?

I think that telephone recycling solutions are terrific in the short term. But wouldn’t it be a little more green if companies encouraged consumers to change consumption habits althogether?

The Sarkophone: Thalès Téorem

Just because Sarah Palin is the only average Joe to get a call from President Sarkozy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be interested in his mobile device.

Not an iPhone, not a Blackberry.

Recently all the buzz has been around Sarko’s new handset, the Téorem by Thalès.

Sarkozy asked the SGDN (French National Defense) to stop using the Blackberry in 2007, as he feared they could be easily spied on. To my knowledge there was no specific incident that required them to stop using the device. And despite RIM claiming their system to be the most secure encrytion system available, with Blackberry phone servers based in the US and the UK Sarkozy wasn’t about to take any risks.

Rumor also has it that Sarkozy wasn’t the only President worried about Blackberry security; while President Obama continues to be a Blackberry user, it wasn’t without the introduction of additional security measures.

So this new, super-secure Thalès phone has been in the making since 2007 and is to be distributed to some 14,000- 20,000 members of Sarkozy’s entourage. The unitary price hasn’t been released yet but I’m sure Thalès won’t be shy with the bill.

Does this phone look prehistoric to you, too?

While the keypad and screen seem to mimic older phone models rather than the fresh faces of the iPhone and the Blackberry, the main differentiating feature of the phone is it’s impenetrability. The phone is also 2G and 3G compatible, VOIP, ISDN and PSTN enabled. 

Now that Sarkozy has an impenetrable phone, maybe we should get him an impenetrable bank account to match.