Program offers ways to recycle old electronics

Kyle Berg

The Kent Wireless Store’s electronics recycling program, Reuse, Reclaim and Recycle, or R3, gives customers the opportunity to trade in an old device for store credit.

The month-old program accepts cell phones, PDAs and other hand-held electronics. Patrons can visit the store, located on East Main Street by Pulp, and drop off their gadget to get store credit with a value of $100 or more.

“There is an incentive portion of the program that we can pay the customer for the phone they’re returning,” said Thomas Knepp, the store’s owner. “That range is pretty wide from turning in the last iPhone model and getting $100 or more all the way to giving us a free, cheaper Motorola StarTAC from six years ago that they might get $2 for.”

A chart in the store determines the amount of money students receive from an old phone. Each phone is given a rank: light, moderate and heavy wear. The ranking is decided by employees based on whether or not the buttons on the phone stick or how scratched up or dented it is.

“The main thing that caught my eye was that there over 100 million of these phones that are being tossed into a landfill each year.” Knepp said, “It’s not a good thing to throw into a landfill, I mean with batteries and such it contaminates the soil. That was one of the big things that stuck out to me and why I wanted to do something with this program.”

Contact technology reporter Kyle Berg at [email protected].