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On the Job

Recycler gives new life to cast-off gadgets

Cory Schneider cofounded Gizmogul, which recycles electronic gadgets, including old cellphones and tablets.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Recycling electronic gadgets – dated flip phones, 3-megapixel digital cameras, tired laptops – is often so inconvenient that the gadgets end up in junk drawers. Gizmogul, an electronic recycling company in Sharon, wants to help consumers dispose of this digital detritus.

And one of the best ways to get people to recycle is to provide an incentive, said Gizmogul cofounder Cory Schneider. Gizmogul pays the consumer 90 percent of a phone’s worth based on its resale value or precious metal content.

“Cellphones are among the most frequently purchased electronic devices, so getting people in the habit of recycling their old ones is a huge step in the right direction,” said Schneider, who is also affiliated with CJ Environmental, a precious metals and scrap refiner.


What happens to cellphones if they’re not recycled?

Every day in the US around 426,000 cellphones are discarded. Personally for me, before I knew about reselling or recycling my phone, I’d stick it in a drawer. Even worse is when someone throws them in the trash, because they leach hazardous chemicals.

How does Gizmogul work?

If you have an iPhone 4, for example, we’ll give you an estimate on what it’s worth. If it’s resalable, it gets a second life. If it’s deemed electronic waste, its value is based on the scrap value. We provide a shipping package and label, compensate you for the phone, then it’s shipped to our warehouse where it’s sorted, processed, and refined.

There’s a picture on your Facebook of hundreds of Kindles in bins – what’s the story?

An online food ordering company sent us 600 Kindle Fire tablets because they were switching to Google Nexus tablets. We also get bulk shipments from schools that are upgrading their systems.

What’s the value of the metals contained in a mobile phone?

About 65 to 80 percent of the material content of a mobile phone can be recycled. The value of the metal – copper, silver, platinum, gold, and aluminum – is determined by precious metal markets.


Do you have any tips for getting the most value from unwanted cellphones?

Trade in early. The longer you wait the more your phone will depreciate. Also, unlock it with your service provider. This will increase the value of your phone instantly. If it’s an iPhone, make sure it doesn’t have iCloud activated on it – remove it. We will even help you do all of this. Finally, include any accessories like case or charger.

What are the different types of recyclers in the industry?

There are all sorts of niches. We also do recycling of network systems, telecom instruments, diamonds, and jewelry, as well as dental scrap from pulled teeth. This might sound a little weird, but dentists do keep that material and look to cash out on it.

Cindy Atoji Keene can be reached at cindy@ cindyatoji. com