A Guide to Walmart’s Recycling Program

Did you know that Walmart has its very own recycling program? As one of the largest distributors of manufactured goods in the world, it makes sense that Walmart would want to provide people with a way to effectively recycle their old products and materials.

Walmart’s recycling program has a couple of different components, both of which we will cover here. First, we’ll go over the Walmart Community Recycling Hub, and then we will discuss Walmart’s ecoATMs.

Walmart’s Community Recycling Hubs provide Arkansas and Oklahoma residents an easy, clean, and effective way to recycle a wide range of household and yard waste, far beyond what is typically recyclable through curbside pickup.

According to Walmart’s corporate website, “the Community Recycling Hub is a one-stop recycling solution for everything you can’t recycle in your curbside bin.”

Walmart Recycling

Some of the items that can be recycled at a Walmart Community Recycling Hub include:

  • Beauty and skincare products
  • Oral care products
  • Home and garden packaging
  • Plastic bottles
  • Pet packaging
  • Plastic toys
  • Worn clothing
  • Food and drink pouches
  • Ink cartridges and office supplies
  • Plastic bags and shipping materials
  • Coffee capsules and water filters

Community Recycling Hub

Walmart’s Community Recycling Hub is a free community recycling service provided to residents of Arkansas and Oklahoma (or anyone who visits participating Walmart locations in these states).

These recycling hubs allow people to recycle products and materials that are typically not recyclable through curbside pickup, such as skincare products, shipping materials, and more.

How Does Walmart’s Community Recycling Hub Work?

Walmart’s Community Recycling Hub is super simple and easy to use.

There are three basic steps:

  • Collection – Bring your recyclables to a Walmart Community Recycling Hub
  • Recycling – Walmart’s pattern organization TerraCycle will pick up your recyclables and transfer them to a recovery facility to be recycled
  • Transformation – Your materials will be sorted by recycling type and transformed into new products

TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company based in Trenton, New Jersey. According to Wikipedia, TerraCycle primarily runs a volunteer-operated recycling program “to collect non-recyclable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste on behalf of corporate donors or municipalities to turn it into raw material to be used in new products.”

How Does Walmart’s ecoATM Work?

Not exclusively operated by Walmart, ecoATM “is a renowned leader in reducing electronic waste and finding value in gently used electronics.” They provide a quick and easy way to exchange used cell phones and other devices for money by recycling them and keeping them out of landfills.

Using ecoATM is entirely free. However, the amount of money you receive in exchange for your device will vary depending on its condition.

Walmart’s ecoATMs accept all cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players, regardless of condition. If your device is in good, working condition, you may be eligible for cash compensation. If not, all devices are still eligible for donation and recycling.

In addition to cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players, ecoATM also accepts chargers and accessories that accompany these devices. Compensation is not available for device accessories, however.

Unfortunately, ecoATMs do not accept the following electronics:

  • Televisions
  • Computers (including laptops)
  • Smart watches
  • Reading devices

Benefits Of Using Walmart’s ecoATM

The benefits of using a Walmart ecoATM are many.

  1. Keep trash out of the landfill – First, by using a Walmart ecoATM, you can keep your unwanted electronics out of the landfill. According to GetRePowered.org, an estimated 100-120 million cell phones are discarded every single year. In fact, cell phones have quickly become the fastest growing type of electronic trash in the world. But by using a Walmart ecoATM, you can keep your phones and tablets in circulation as usable materials.
  2. Provide someone else with a needed phone or device – The second benefit of using an ecoATM is that you can provide someone else with a refurbished phone or tablet. When a working cell phone or tablet is sold through an ecoATM, this device is then resold to a participating company that will refurbish and resell that phone. These phones often become available to consumers at discounted prices, and some are even donated to communities in need.
  3. Make some money! – The third and possibly most obvious personal benefit of using an ecoATM is that if you offer up a working device, it’s very possible that you’ll be offered cash compensation. If you ask us, that’s way better than simply throwing your phone in the garbage. Not only will your phone be reused by someone who needs it, but you can also make a little bit of extra money in the process. Win, win!

How To Use Walmart’s ecoATM?

Using a Walmart ecoATM is super easy.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Get a price estimate – By using the ecoATM website or app, you can receive a price estimate for your used or unwanted phone. You can even lock in your price quote on the app before visiting your nearest ecoATM. If your phone is not eligible for cash compensation, you will be notified during the price estimation process.
  2. Prepare your phone for sale – ecoATM provides detailed instructions here on how to prepare your phone for sale or donation. This involves signing out of and/or removing any personal accounts connected to your phone and/or resetting your phone to its original factory settings.
  3. Find a kiosk – The last step of selling or donating your phone through ecoATM is to locate a kiosk near you. ecoATM has over 5000 locations nationwide at places like Walmart and Kroger (including QFC and Fred Meyer), so you’re sure to find one within a reasonable distance of your home. Check out this locator tool to find out more.

Walmart’s Recycling Program Compared

Compared with major competitors like Amazon and Target, Walmart actually has a pretty great recycling program.

While Amazon does have its own recycling program, they are only equipped to recycle electronic devices and they do not offer any form of compensation. The benefit of using the Amazon program is that they are equipped to recycle a wider range of devices than Walmart, including personal computers and telecom equipment. To learn more about the Amazon Recycling Program, click here

Target also has a recycling program, but it’s mainly focused on plastic bags and bottles. You can learn more about it here.

Even though Walmart’s Community Recycling Hubs are only available in three locations as of 2022, it’s likely that these hubs will expand to other locations in the coming years. As a framework for a corporate recycling program, Walmart has a bit of a leg up on its competitors so far.


Are there fees when recycling at the Community Recycling Hub?

No. Recycling through Walmart’s Community Recycling is completely free.

Does Walmart’s ecoATM accept locked phones?

Yes. ecoATMs accept all cell phones regardless of condition. If your phone cannot be refurbished and resold, it will be recycled for its materials.

Does Walmart’s ecoATM accept broken electronic gadgets?

Yes. If your phone, tablet, or MP3 player are broken, you can still recycle them using an ecoATM. However, fully broken devices may not be eligible for cash compensation.

Do you need to clean the item before recycling it?

No. ecoATM accepts recycled devices regardless of condition.

Is it safe to use Walmart’s ecoATM?

Yes. Walmart’s ecoATMs are entirely safe. According to ecoATM’s website, “the kiosk is composed of extensive security features and processes to deter the sale of any stolen devices and assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting suspected cell phone thieves.”


Walmart’s recycling program is fairly extensive, allowing customers to recycle a wide range of products and materials that can’t be recycled elsewhere. Unfortunately, Walmart’s Community Recycling Hubs are currently only available in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Hopefully these hubs will start to pop up in more states in the coming years.

Walmart also offers other recycling opportunities, including through ecoATM, a company that facilitates cell phone, tablet, and MP3 player recycling and reuse. Overall, Walmart seems to be focused on providing communities with ample opportunities to recycle and repurpose products and materials.

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