QR Code Technology Speeds Up Cell Phone Recycling

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Photo: Apple Inc.

There’s no doubt that smartphone recycling can be profitable. A series of buyback services have sprung up over the last few years, exchanging old cell phone technology that would otherwise end up as e-waste for cold hard cash. Those devices are either recycled or refurbished to resell, beneficial to the company, consumer and the environment.

However, many buyback programs require consumers to send in their old cell phone for appraisal at their own cost, or physically walk their device to a store or kiosk. Perhaps as a result, fewer than 10 percent of cell phones in the U.S. find their way to a recycler.

MaxBack.com bills itself as a simpler solution that maximizes buyback cash and limits small inconveniences like shipping costs.

The company’s newest feature, dubbed RapidQuote, utilzes QR code technology to assess the value of a smart phone. A user takes a picture of the company’s special QR code with a phone, MaxBack’s software analyzes the specifications of the phone and then provides an immediate price quote.  The user then has two days to send MaxBack the cell phone at no cost via a prepaid USPS shipping label and collect on the offer.

Worn, dead and otherwise unusable devices can still be recycled through the program by MaxBack’s parent company, Environmental Reclamation Services, LLC. Maxback also accepts tablets and iPods.

Recycling 101: Cell Phones

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