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New Reuse and Recycling Report: Green is the New Black

by Kate Pearce 31. January 2013 15:48

Today, I did what has become a common occurrence in my role at Compass Intelligence and as the editor-in-chief at Bamboo Mobile. I spoke with the press about device recycling, reuse and e-waste. This area, while a hot bed of activity in the mobile market, largely goes under-reported--until now.  As we settle into the month of February, we are about to publish a new report, chalk full of market projections and around number of total idle devices, devices recycled (including number recycled by carrier and by channel) and more. Here are some tidbits from that report:.

  • We estimate that by the end of 2012 there were about 324 million idle used devices in the market.
  • Of those, we estimate about 15% were actually recycled or traded.
  • We estimate the trade in market at about $900 million today but expected to grow into a multi-billion industry in just a few years.
  • The carrier channel remains the most popular with over 50% of the trade ins and buy back happening there.

Idle Device Breakout

Source: Compass Intelligence, 2013

While national media focus has increased visibility, there is also new attention from groups like CTIA with its Green Working Group and the EPA with its Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge that has propelled electronics reuse and recycling to the forefront of the industry. These groups will continue to drive the need for more metrics, reporting and understanding of e-waste and recycling in the mobile industry. Compass Intelligence, along with Bamboo Mobile, hopes to fill that niche as well. In addition, look for more analysis in the future around how reuse and recycling affects the bottom line for carriers, OEMs and other key players in this space. 

Please visit Compass Intelligence to learn more: and visit our Thought Leaders Research Page to learn more about The Pulse of the Thought Leaders Panel

About the author

Kate Pearce is a Sr. Consultant and Research Strategist at Compass Intelligence and Editor-in-Chief at Bamboo Mobile. She has a long tenure in the wireless industry, working in corporate strategy, business planning and product development groups at major telecom providers for nearly 15 years and as a consultant for two years. If you want to contact Kate to find out more about the Reuse and Recycling market and the new market report, she can be reached at or 913.708.2371.

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