Outerwall CEO Scott di Valerio committed his company to diverting at least two million pounds of electronic waste from landfills through expansion of its ecoATM kiosks Tuesday at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York.
A relatively new player in the Bellevue company’s line of kiosk-based services, ecoATMs are available in 1,100 locations in 44 states across the United States, but Valerio said Outerwall plans 6,000-10,000 machines to roll out in the U.S. over the next several years — the international market will be next.
“It was an unbelievable assembly,” Valerio said of the CGI meeting. “You’ve got a combination of business leaders, world leaders and people who are really just changing the the world.”
With its new commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, Outerwall also will be held accountable for reaching its goal, and the coalition will track the company’s progress over the next three years.
“We would hope that we can exceed our commitment,” Valerio said.
Up to 25 percent of old-generation smartphones and tablet are recycled annually, which Valerio said is markedly low considering the high number of electronics purchased every year. He predicts there will soon be a spike in ecoATM use as more people buy up Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. Apple reported more than 10 million of the new iPhones had been purchased since its Sept. 19 launch.
ecoATMs have not yet turned a profit, and Valerio said Outerwall anticipates breaking even by the first half of 2015. While Outerwall’s commitment to reducing e-waste is also a commitment to profiting on its own business venture, Valerio said finding revenue through sustainability practices is a model many businesses are wanting to capitalize on.
Outerwall keeps loose change in circulation with its Coinstar machines and recycles or redistributes old DVDs from its Redbox kiosks.
“It’s nice to be able to step up and really be able to make an impact on the environment,” Valerio said.
The company has also committed 1 percent of its previous year’s after-tax profits to charity since 2012, issuing $250,000 in general operating grants in the Seattle and Chicago this spring.