Apple offers free computer take-back recycling program

Apple today announced an expansion of its successful recycling program, offering free computer take-back and recycling with the purchase of a new Macintosh system beginning in June. US customers who buy a new Mac through the Apple Store or Apple’s retail stores will receive free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of their old computer as part of the Apple Recycling program. Equipment received by the program in the US is recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas. Earlier this week, Apple was named a ‘Forward Green Leader,’ one of the top ten environmentally progressive companies recognized by the Sierra Club and its investment advisor, Forward Management.

“Apple is committed to supporting our customers and protecting the environment throughout the entire product life cycle, from purchase through to retirement,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in the press release. “Now we are making it even easier for Apple’s customers to safely and affordably recycle their used computers and iPods.”

Apple’s free take-back program will extend Apple’s existing US recycling program, which has recycled more than 90 percent of electronic equipment collected since 2001. Apple also operates a free drop-off recycling location at its headquarters in Cupertino for used computer systems and selected home electronics.

Apple also announced that the fifth generation iPod, iPod nano and iPod shuffle are 100 percent compliant with the upcoming restrictions of hazardous substances (RoHS) in California and Europe, which are recognized as the new global standard for environmental regulation. iPod’s RoHS compliance comes months ahead of the July 1 deadline set by the European Union, and most of the materials covered by the RoHS directive, including mercury, cadmium, chromium VI and brominated flame retardants, were voluntarily eliminated from all Apple products years ago.

In addition, iPod power adapters now exceed Energy Star efficiency requirements and already meet California’s stricter appliance efficiency regulations, which are scheduled to take effect July 1, 2008. Information on Apple’s recycling programs and industry-leading environmental policies is available online at

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  1. Ok I’ll tell you what’s up with this as Dell does it too.

    What they do is take your old machine (hopefully offer to transfer the data to the new machine) and then recycle the product for sale in developing countries for a profit.

    The way Dell did it was to use very cheap California prison labor to strip the machines and assemble functional ones for shipping to these lower markets.

    Us old time Mac users know Mac’s can last a very long time, I still see a occassional Mac SE or Plus still working fine.

    So basically Apple is taking advantage of those who don’t want to be bothered eBaying their hardware or selling the parts.

    There is money to be made in doing this and it gets Mac’s into developing countries which can’t afford the full price.

  2. Well, if it’s switchers, then it is best way to get rid of their old PC.
    We wouldn’t want it to inflict more damage on the young children that might find it in a closest or attic and turn it on.
    If it boots at all.

  3. Actually Dell (and HP) has had an active recycling program for several years. Sadly, some on this forum are too “quick on the trigger”, taking any opportunity to badmouth the competition. They’re only embarrassing themselves.Time to grow up.

  4. So, I guess this means that all that “iPod” protesting those idiots did a few months back was nothing more than publicity seeking. Pretty much puts mud on their faces, and certainly did nothing to further their cause.

  5. “STUPIDIEST” … one of those classic typos.

    This news doesn’t change anything, except that now the recycling is free, and that means probably more people will take advantage of it. I’m curious to know how electronics recycling works. How many components get another go-round as is, how much is turned back into raw materials, etc.

  6. What’s so stupid about making it easier for folks to ditch their old computers for something better? The spouse and I just got rid of an old HP printer that quit working (got a decent amount of use out of it and it was only $15 at Target), only because we happened to be driving by the local high school and saw a sign for an electronics recycling drive — anything that keeps junk out of the landfills is a plus.

    It’s possible that this effort is a response to the protests regarding electronic waste in landfills — Steve is very aware of what happens with bad publicity…

    Wonder if Apple will take computers even if you’re not buying a new one? I’ve got an old clamshell iBook I need to get rid of, after I plug it back into the Ethernet so I can deauthorize it and also wipe the hard drive (project for later this summer)…then again, maybe I can get that MacBook Pro 17″ that’s rumored to be out later this year… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MW=interest; this has piqued my interest definitely…

  7. selling them in other countries! Most of that they get are too old to refurb. They just recycle them.

    This is a GOOD thing.

    And if you think the recycling companies should be watched in terms of how they treat their labor (prison, or children overseas), yes, they should. So let’s hope Apple picked an ethical company to work with.

  8. I find it too difficult to let go of old Apple equipment. It looks cool, and still works.

    Hey, how about turning that old clamshell iBook into a mounted, framed, digital slideshow using Apple Remote Desktop? I may actually try that with mine.

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