Council to Regulate Automated Purchasing Machines

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(PHILADELPHIA, PA) October 9, 2014–Today, City Council passed a bill sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown to regulate Automated Purchasing Machines (APMs) by requiring City Council approval for future installation of the kiosks.

The legislation is an amended version of a bill the Councilwoman introduced in 2013 which called for an outright ban. The bill grandfathers in two machines in the Philadelphia Mills Mall (formerly Franklin Mills) operated by ecoATM, the largest manufacturer of APMs in the world. According to their website, EcoATMs allow consumers to, “Sell your phone or other device by placing it in the ecoATM kiosk, and we’ll tell you how much it’s worth. What happens next? You get instant cash.”

After meetings with a number of stakeholders, including representatives from ecoATM, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown agreed to a compromise allowing the machines in Philadelphia, but requiring approval by City Council all future machine installations.

“Last year, we discovered that Philadelphia has the highest/stolen phone rate in the nation, which was alarming. As a result, we heard a number of legitimate concerns, particularly among colleges and universities about the proliferation of these machines. The amended bill allows citizens and community groups the opportunity to have a voice in the process through public hearings and ultimately allows City Council to have the final say,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

She continued, “Ultimately, we reached a compromise because I was impressed with the willingness of ecoATM to fully cooperate with local law enforcement. They have made it exceedingly clear that cell phone theft is bad for their business, and they want to partner with us to curb this problem. Furthermore, as Chair of the City Council Committee on the Environment, I am also struck with the important opportunity to curb e-waste, which is the fastest growing stream of waste in the nation. We only have one planet and this presents a mechanism to keep potentially millions of electronic devices out of our landfills.”

For additional information, quotes or to request an interview with the Councilwoman, please contact
Communications Manager Jason Lewis at 215-686-3438 or 267-250-2925.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues:  children and youth, women, education, small business development, arts and culture and the environment and sustainability. Councilwoman Reynolds Brown is the only woman to win an At-Large Council seat since 1999.

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