I just read an article in Red Herring about a company called ReCellular, which is the number one U.S. cell phone recycling company. ReCellular refurbishes and resells cell phones instead of scrapping them for their metals. Although, the article focuses on a new technology that ReCelluar has developed to help triple its profits this year, I can’t help but be enamored with the core business itself and the profit opportunity of this niche market.
[The market is] expected to be worth $225.35 million by 2008, said Michael Blumberg, CEO of DF Blumberg Associates, a consultancy that published a report on the U.S. wireless phone recycling market.
Growing cell phone usage and turnover, as well as “green laws” restricting the disposal of electronic waste, are driving the market, he said. U.S. consumers replace their phones every 18 months, on average, he added.
I guess when the profit opportunity is as big as this, you don’t need social entrepreneurs to intervene. Some opportunities (like this one) work out perfectly so that entrepreneurs can make a buck, and do something good for the world at the same time!