The circular economy is being talked up at the moment. The safeguarding of valuable resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible through repair, refurbishment, re-use and recycling is a motivating force for many non-profits and individuals.
It could also make you a good living as part of a low-cost lifestyle.
If you are tech-savvy you could tap into the market for hazardous electronic-waste recycling. ecoATM’s(R) self-service eCycling kiosks, found in malls across the country, provide consumers with an easy, eco-friendly, and economical way to convert unused and outdated phones, MP3 players, and tablets into holiday spending cash.
ecoATM’s kiosks recycle consumer electronics to keep them out of landfills, and provide cash payments as an incentive for consumers to recycle. By bringing the contents of that closet of unused electronics to one of ecoATM’s more than 800 kiosks, recyclers can exchange digital paperweights for cash.
The ecoATM kiosks recognize virtually any type of phone, MP3 player or tablet using robotics and artificial intelligence. Then, using a worldwide auction system, ecoATM offers consumers competitive prices based on the model and condition of the device, ranging from a few dollars for older models to a few hundred for newer smart phones. ecoATM kiosks are located in hundreds of malls across the country. More than one million devices have been recycled at ecoATM kiosks to date. You can find the ecoATM closest to you at http://ecoATM.com
Second-hand electronics company, like CoolCash.com, helps users safely dispose of their waste – and get cash for it.
“If you have a mobile phone and you want to throw it away, there should be a simple, efficient and rewarding way to do it” is their philosophy. They have recycling machines to allow quick anonymous disposal in return for cash. But that has caused problems with the law enforcement community.
In Johannesburg, South Africa households a new “recycling economy” in the municipality is being rolled out.
It requires residents to use separate receptacles to collect their waste – a black bin for non-recyclable household waste, a clear durable plastic bag for glass, cans and plastics, and a reusable white bag for all paper materials.
“The idea is to get residents to start turning trash into treasure,
In the United Kingdom, Environcom in Grantham aims at maximising the reuse potential of electrical and electronic goods. Washing machines are stripped down, repaired, meticulously cleaned and tested ready for reuse. The result is clean, refurbished used washing machines ready for sale. They are even offered with a guarantee. I looked at one Bosch machine that I would have happily had in my home – it looked new, had a guarantee and is despatched with reusable packaging. It isn’t just washing machines though – fridges, driers, TVs and a range of consumer electronics. I really felt I was seeing the circular economy in action.
If the circular economy is going to take off, giving consumers confidence in repaired, refurbished and reused goods will be crucial. The guarantee that came with the washing machine from Environcom is a key part of this.
In France, CiteGreen was set up in 2011 as the first programme of rewards for eco-friendly action. The system has proven its worth. CiteGreen”s slogan is “Carrots, not sticks”. The company is offering to reward eco-friendly action by French citizens. The Paris-based company, which was founded in 2011, was inspired by Recyclebank, a company operating in the United States that offers the public points for every kilo of products that they recycle.
The principle is simple: after registering free of charge, internet users choose the initiatives they want to sign up for, including recycling, eco-transport and energy, and earn points that they can then convert into vouchers. The points are earmarked for spending on environmentally-friendly products or digital entertainment at partners such as Melvita, Tudo Bom, Dr. Hauschka, Bioburger, Puerto Cacao and Artisans du Monde. The partners in the initiative (local authorities or companies) identify eco-friendly actions and reward them via credits on the website.
I”ve changed my habits because of the vouchers and become a responsible consumer,” Florent insists. “Rewarding people is a way of rethinking eco-friendly action,” explains Emmanuel Touboul. Encouraging everyone in France to take action to protect the environment through purchasing power is a way of avoiding punitive environmentalism. And it works! Over 35,000 people now use the small company, which received the City of Paris” Major Innovation Award in the Innovative Services Category in 2013. INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT EVERYONE The community has been expanding continually since 2011 – we estimate that it grew tenfold in one year – and the company is also developing its partnerships with local authorities. Following a successful launch in Sevres, CiteGreen extended its “Sorting means winning” programme to the town of Suresnes on 25 June 2013. Residents are invited to leave their waste in recycling bins. Points are then credited to each person”s account, depending on the overall performance of each district. This initiative benefits the town, as the campaign encourages people to take action. “Sorting is becoming steadily more widespread, and this partnership is an important way of maintaining the momentum,” says a spokesperson for Suresnes.
The City of Paris, which has been committed to eco-transport via the Velib” initiative since June 2012, wants to continue its partnership next year: “An increasing number of CiteGreen subscribers are taking part in the Velib” initiative.
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