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Apple Hardware

Apple Now Offering Free Recycling For PCs 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the out-with-the-old dept.
MrSeb writes "Do you have a few old, dusty beige-box computers kicking around that you'd like to turn into money? Or perhaps you'd just like to get rid of them, but you lack the means to dispose of them properly? Well, if you're in the US you're in luck: Apple will now provide postage-paid packaging to allow you to recycle your old laptop or desktop PC and its monitor for free, and if it's worth anything, you'll even get an Apple Gift Card in return. In addition, your old iPhone or iPad can now be returned for an Apple Gift Card, too."
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Apple Now Offering Free Recycling For PCs

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  • by zget (2395308)
    Last year I bought a laptop that cost $3000. Clevo. It works awesome and plays even the most newest games in full detail. What would I get for it?
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Nothing, all they want is the gold on the boards.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, that is what I thought at first.
        Then I found out that the electronics in cheap rc-cars and other cheap electronic toys are actually recycled component that has been desoldered from recycled electronics.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Actually my 5 year old Macbook Pro is still worth $500 according to the website. I would assume that some of these are reconditioned and sold as used equipment.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Nothing, all they want is the gold on the boards.

        Copper too. I used to do some volunteer work for a charity in Oz that took old PC's and refurbished them for thrid world nations (Indonesia, Cambodia) so a lot of old tech still gets used but when companies do drives like this, it's almost always to get the precious metals out of them (normally after they've been shipped to a place that isn't ROHS compliant).

    • by residieu (577863)
      Can't you read? You get an Apple Gift Card. Good for one Apple. I suggest a Red Delicious, they're tasty (it's right in their name).
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Those are always gritty and terrible. Get a Granny Smith instead.

        • by mdalal97 (256621)

          Honeycrisp apples are awesome

          • Indeed, although a Golden Delicious is a close second for me.
            • by sconeu (64226)

              Grannys and Honeycrisps rocks.

              Golden Delicious and Red Delicious are both mealy instead of crisp and crunchy.

              • by Culture20 (968837)
                Pink Lady. I think it's a Granny/Fuji hybrid. Plus there's the potential for double entendre.
        • by residieu (577863)
          My choice is usually McIntosh, but I picked something else to not confuse the joke too badly (I don't like Red Delicious either)
          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            My choice is usually McIntosh...

            Man, you've got that right...I've been jonesing after a good McIntosh tube amp(s) [mcintoshlabs.com] since I was about 12yrs old and heard my first ones hooked to some Klipschorn [klipsch.com] speakers.

            I got the speakers..I just need to save up for the amp.

            I know why so many people love Mc's.....although I'm confused why so many people call them Mac's...

        • Gala is the best.
        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          How about Apple Jacks [wikipedia.org]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Red Delicious are one of the worst. Braeburn is where it is at- sweet and tart at the same time- firmer than a "delicious". It's also more fun to say "Braeburn, braeburn, braeburn." If you don't like saying the word Braeburn you're not really living.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A lemon.
      • by DeeEff (2370332)

        I don't want your goddamn lemons!

        I'm the man who's gonna burn your Apple store down! With Lemons!

    • by gmon750 (1216394)

      This is a recycling program. Not a market. It's highly doubtful that any machine returned this way will be refurbished and resold unless it's a fairly new(er) machine in full working condition. Beats throwing it in the dumpster when all the precious metals (gold, copper, etc..) can be recycled and reused elsewhere.

      I remember watching a program on TV not too long ago where they said that recycling old computers and electronics to extract gold is actually more profitable and more efficient than trying to m

    • You'll probably maximise your profits by putting it on eBay, the fact that it's a recycling program, not a trade system, is telling.

      Or, you could cut your profits but maximise your "emotional return" by selling it to someone you know who couldn't afford one otherwise, either on a payment or for cash. Or send it me :P

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Last year I bought a laptop that cost $3000. Clevo. It works awesome and plays even the most newest games in full detail. What would I get for it?

      My laptops get handed down to the extended family. In a month someone's getting a Lenovo R400 that's still in very good nick.

  • GOLD FARMERS!

    anyways, this is good, bringing a little more green-ish stuff to the world counts. I hope more companies will do the same.

    • Re:reminds me... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:34PM (#37048678) Journal

      this is good, bringing a little more green-ish stuff to the world

      I really hope so, as opposed to being shipped off to some unfortunate third-world scrapper [pbs.org] who'll slowly poison dozens of children in outdoor sweatshops.

      For all the visibility this will have, I expect that Apple will try to be careful to avoid that. But in the past, many "computer recycling" offers have cut out the hard parts and passed the savings on to themselves.

  • Especially a 3GS, which many people will undoubtedly trade in this year for a 5. Perfectly fast and good, if it weren't locked down....

    Worse than gillette trying to kill off double edged razors (the open standard of the shaving world) in exchange for closed down proprietary razors since the 60s.

  • Was going to post a snarky comment about "im sure you have to buy a mac first", but it looks like they dont require anything more than visiting their page and filling out a form. Looks pretty cool, and provides a nice answer to "what do I do with my stack of crappy decade-old laptops".

    • by Solandri (704621)

      and provides a nice answer to "what do I do with my stack of crappy decade-old laptops"

      You can trade it in [tradeups.com] for cash. They'll take more than laptops too. Some manufacturers even run their own promos with this company. Sony [tradeups.com] and HP [tradeups.com] do so almost continuously. Dell has done it in the past. Buy one of their new laptops, trade in your old one for a $100-$300 cash rebate. Those programs used to be for any functioning laptop, but the last one I sent in had to meet certain CPU specs to qualify for the $300 reba

  • "Recycling" (Score:2, Troll)

    by Hatta (162192)

    Recycling means it's shipped off to Africa or China, where it's stripped for parts and sold back to us at a giant markup. What's not salvageable is disposed of in whatever way they can get away with in 3rd world countries.

  • Great idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:12PM (#37048344)
    I'm a huge Apple hatter. If I ever bought an Apple product I would burst into hypocritical flames. But this is a really good idea. I have a lot of clients that a have tons of old hardware that they can't get rid of because of the cost involved in doing so. Now Apple will cover that cost, and make a little money by stripping the precious metals off the techo-trash. This is a great example of the free market's Invisible Hand [econlib.org]. Bravo Apple, well done.
    • by Joehonkie (665142)
      You make Apple-related hats?
    • Re:Great idea (Score:5, Interesting)

      by semi-extrinsic (1997002) <asmunder.stud@ntnu@no> on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:21PM (#37048472)
      I don't get it. In my country, any store selling electronics is required by law to accept old electronics of the same type for recycling, free of charge, regardless of whether it was sold at that store or not. Isn't this a common practice?
      • Not exactly. For one, they accept any desktop computer or cellphone regardless of whether or not it was made by Apple. Secondly, they pay for the shipping which is generally quite expensive around here for heavier iterms. And of course, getting an Apple card if your item is worth anything is just an icing.

        I am impressed. Apple is the last company I would expect to do this. Especially the part where they accept their "lesser" counterpart PCs.

        • by fgouget (925644)

          Not exactly. For one, they accept any desktop computer or cellphone regardless of whether or not it was made by Apple.

          That's not a difference, that's exactly the same. In France at least, any store selling electronic devices or appliances is required by law to accept old product of the same type, whether of the same brand or not, still in working condition or not.

          Secondly, they pay for the shipping which is generally quite expensive around here for heavier items.

          That may be a difference. If the new appliance, a fridge for instance, is delivered by the local brick and mortar shop, then they are bound by law to take the old one back for free. However I don't know how it works for online retailers, especially since they ofte

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:31PM (#37048642)

        I'm sure that is common practice in Atheistic Socialist Hell-scapes but...

        In the United States we pray for Invisible Hands [econlib.org] to solve our problems...

        Bless his noodly appendage...

        • So is it my understanding that you credit god for causing Apple to start this program? What exactly is your logic?

          The link I provided didn't say god was the invisible hand. It has nothing to do with god. The "invisible hand" is a term to describe "creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows".

          I don't know why I always get ambushed by atheist trolls whenever I post any link to anything that even says "god", even when the link has nothing to do with god. In the essay [econlib.org] it says the Invisible
      • Do you pay to recycle it? Does the government come around and pick them up for recycling?

      • I don't get it. In my country, any store selling electronics is required by law to accept old electronics of the same type for recycling, free of charge, regardless of whether it was sold at that store or not. Isn't this a common practice?

        It is common practice to recycle equipment free of charge. It's also common to include in the original sale a deposit which is returned to the customer when the equipment is brought back for recycling.

        Apple's program pays (with store credit) people for recycling their use

        • by Kvasio (127200)

          try that with your old washing machine or fridge - would Apple also accept those and responsibly handle the refrigants?

      • by Kvasio (127200)

        well, you live in Europe.

        USA still cannot decide if it should obey the Kioto emission reductions or it all this "global warming" is just against Texans.

    • I'm a huge Apple hatter. If I ever bought an Apple product I would burst into hypocritical flames. But this is a really good idea. I have a lot of clients that a have tons of old hardware that they can't get rid of because of the cost involved in doing so. Now Apple will cover that cost, and make a little money by stripping the precious metals off the techo-trash. This is a great example of the free market's Invisible Hand [econlib.org]. Bravo Apple, well done.

      "hatter"? Didn't realize that Apple sold headgear. Oh, I get it...

      Don't you folks have a local electronics recycling drive? Even here in rural Alaska we get a shipping container and on two weekends in the spring, people can stuff it full of old electronic junk. It then gets sent to Seattle to one of the (supposedly) higher quality recyclers that don't send it to China to have 12 year olds burn the circuit boards for metals.

      It's basically a break even deal, the few dollars they get from the recycler pays

      • Most of my clients are in southern California, and while there are recycling programs that will take the waste for free, it costs money to put onto pallets and ship the stuff. With Apple paying for the freight costs it becomes much more financially sound to pay to just have it put on pallets.

        Most of the stuff is just pure junk. Old win95 boxes with bored out HDDs, motherboards for the old PIII "box" processors, CRTs that you can tell are broken just by looking (or smelling) them. Some of the stuff is
    • by Kozz (7764)

      Either I didn't dig deep enough, or I was looking in the wrong place. But is there any evidence that Apple is not shipping the hardware to the Asian continent for "recycling" methods that pollute their land and poison their workers?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Either I didn't dig deep enough, or I was looking in the wrong place. But is there any evidence that Apple is not shipping the hardware to the Asian continent for "recycling" methods that pollute their land and poison their workers?

        It looks like it's in partnership with another company that they do the last two R's. Remember, it's Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The company buys old hardware and tries to refurbish it (i.e., Reuse). Stuff that's too old is recycled - and it appears they use WeRecycle for that. Or

  • by vlm (69642)

    A real /.er would figure out the limit. I'm guessing its something super lame for PR purposes, like "limit one per address".

  • Apple is taking a loss for every computer they recycle as part of this PR effort. For every PC you send in for recycling, you're not only helping the environment* but also hurting Apple. So send in all the junk you can, then give the gift cards to an Apple fanboy who would buy the latest shiny from them anyways for maximum damage.

    *At least locally, but what happens in a Chinese scrap yard stays in a Chinese scrap yard I guess...

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      If they're taking a loss, they're not apple. Normal apple shines at playing the market.

      I suspect they already have a scrapping company in China ready to receive parts, and we do know that several tens of percent of cargo ship capacity going from West to China is empty because of trade deficit.

      They're making money on this, or they're dumb.

      • Recycling a computer is VERY expensive (like $100 for an average PC last I heard), just in the processing stage, never mind shipping. Unless that's changed recently I don't see how they could be making money.

        I think they're doing it for PR reasons. Score some greenie points, give people Apple Store money to encourage them to buy.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          100USD for a unit? What, they use rented millionaire's yachts to ship them?

          You may want to find out how much it costs to bundle and ship things here. Then take about 1/3 off that number. You'll get the sum needed to pay to ship the item back. Add to that the non-existent costs for getting a sweatshop scrapper company, and take the profit out of ever increasing price of precious metals you extract from it.

          If you do this business en masse rather then ship individual computers, your cost will be a very small f

        • Three words: Rare Earth Elements. Being in the hardware business, having a private supply of RE's will be a crucial buffer against price spikes, tariffs, shortages, etc.
  • Wondering how I can get a Sun E250 in a box and under 60 pounds.... Sounds like a job for Mr. Chainsaw!!
    • Let me know when you figure that out, I have an E3000, an E450 or two and a bunch of E420Rs to get rid of.

      (Any wierd nerds reading this? They're yours if you can come pick 'em up!)

  • Keep America Beautiful - send your trash to China.
  • Just wondering. The PC example in the article has better specs than any I have at home, and is better than the machine I have at work. As far as Macs go, I still have a Power Mac (dual 800) that works, and it's value to me is the cost of a Mac to replace it if I recycled it. Is there really enough churn in the marketplace in this down economy to make this work?

    • by MikeMo (521697)
      Maybe it's just to do a good deed and get some PR at the same time? Not everything has to be a nefarious plot, you know.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        No, a nefarious plot is when my wife's rotten little dog jumps up on the bed and wipes her butt on my pillow when I'm at work. I'd call this a long term move to encourage new markets. But I used to work in marketing.

    • Hm...maybe I can trade that Pippin [wikipedia.org] in for a Mac Pro...

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Wow, that's a blast from the past. The difference, though, is that the power mac still runs OSX acceptably (albeit an earlier version) and I have literally crates of software for it. It would cost money to upgrade to an intel Mac (for instance), and then I'd have to rebuy software, and it's just plain not worth it. It's not necessary to have the latest thing, it's just necessary to be able to acceptably do the things for which one needs a computer. (I understand this is a controversial stance amongst fa

  • Good for Apple. Pity they only give you an apple gift card, since I won't even put iTunes on my system; but it's better than sending old gear off to the local landfill. Let 'em bury the things in California!
    • Looks like you can buy USB peripherals through the apple store with an apple gift card.

      • Looks like you can buy USB peripherals through the apple store with an apple gift card.

        They give you a $20 gift card, but the cheapest item you can buy with it is $60.

        Apple are expensive for Australia.

        Australia is a lot more expensive then the US.

  • by jbarr (2233) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:44PM (#37048838) Homepage

    Unless your desktop PC has at LEAST a Duo Core 2.8GHz processor, it's worth zero in this program.

    Now, for those items that are valued at zero, you are referred to www.werecycle.com where they will give you a pre-paid mailing label. And yes, it's nice to get a pre-paid label to get it off your hands, but don't expect that old beige hardware to generate any cash.

    They also won't take any iPod Touch devices.

    • Notebooks get similar treatment. A Windows notebook identical in specs and condition to a first gen MacBook is worthless while the MacBook is worth $102.77.
  • The prices they offer for pretty much everything that works, including Apple products is insulting. This is likely only beneficial for unloading broken products which don't function anymore.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      That is exactly the point. It's not ebay or a second hand shop, it's a recycling program. If you can get more for it because it's working, then sell it that way. This is intended for stuff that was going into the dumpster anyway.

    • Then don't send them any of your machines and resell them on eBay. Most likely Apple isn't going to use any of the machines that you send them anyway. The third party they are contracting will be be the ones breaking down the machine and selling any parts for profit. As such, they can't pay retail prices.
    • by guruevi (827432)

      A) Correctly recycling e-waste takes a lot of money
      B) Most companies are not allowed to (or should not) resell or give away because of tax write-offs done on the products. There are companies that literally have warehouses of trash (we have an 8 port BNC router that takes 4U in one of those) because it's cheaper to keep than recycle.

    • If it still works, there is still value to be extracted from the product that someone else, if not yourself, can utilize, and therefore it can fetch a higher price. This program is a recycling program for end-of-life waste, not a reselling program for used products. My point is that you wouldn't *want* to recycle a usable product, and that is appropriately reflected in the lower salvage value. You'd be better off finding a different channel through which to sell your used equipment.

  • by devphaeton (695736) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @05:14PM (#37049944)

    This is pure marketing and "come over to our side" tactic. I doubt Apple is getting much from the value of the machine. Not even in commodity value.

    They're partnering through WeRecycle, who is an e-Stewards Certified recycler. Nothing is getting dumped into a 3rd world country. No data is getting mined or leaked.

    There is a huge e-waste recycling industry, and this is all pretty standard stuff. I work for one of the major recyclers (also e-Stewards Certified). I thought maybe /. denizens would know more about all this, but I guess not.

    The conspiracy theories are pure gold, however. I'm not a fan of Apple (products or corporate), but this is rich. Pure comedic gold.

  • And have they already told anyone what they are going to do with the waste? With their track record, they might just sell it to a garbage handler in, say, middle Africa.

  • The first thing I though of was that by doing this, Apple is removing the supply of mid- to late-model, surplus PCs out of the hand-me-down eco system. Just a few stories ago, someone asked what OS to put on a donated computer. Apple's recommendation is: send us the PC instead, we'll kick in a few bucks and then you can buy them an Apple!

  • Mail in programs (like this, and Staples, and Gazelle) are avoiding the heavy lifting. Most of the expense in public "e-waste" recycling programs are the 100+ pound CRT TVs, no one mails those or even boxes them. The computers actually almost pay for themselves, and the small Ipods and ebay-able items really offset the cost of recycling. While I wouldn't criticize Apple per se, mail in programs and cell phone returns are to ewaste recycling infrastructure what plastic surgery is to public health care. Sa
  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @07:13PM (#37051048)

    The biggest issue I have with e-waste recycling is that it sometimes pollutes the environment of the countries that are processing the waste for their valuable components and simply dumping the rest. In effect, by "recycling," people are just shifting their garbage to other nations with cheap labor and less stringent environmental regulations. China does most (but not all) of this task. So, if people are going to recycle their old electronics, it has to be done properly. The problem for the consumer is that they generally don't have access to the information that would allow them to know which programs and services are legitimate.

    It's my hope that Apple has teamed up with recyclers to give such initiatives credibility, allowing consumers to feel encouraged to send their e-waste for recycling. I hope that this program does things the right way--even if it costs more money--rather than merely serve as a convenient facade for more toxic dumping. Apple has been working hard to reduce the use of environmentally unfriendly materials in their products and substitute easily recyclable materials (like aluminum and glass) in their place, recognizing that you can't pollute what you don't use in the first place.

    Many of us have seen how Greenpeace has been slamming Apple for not doing "enough" to address environmental sustainability. We know it's mostly political--by attacking the maker of the most popular consumer computing hardware in the world, Greenpeace gets the attention in the press they're seeking. And at the same time, Apple is forced to work even harder to go above and beyond what other companies merely promise they do. I bet Greenpeace will just find yet another way to spin this program in a negative light and continue to whine about how it's still not enough, just so they can get more headlines and donations.

  • by Restil (31903) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @07:47PM (#37051306) Homepage

    I "dispose" of my old PCs like I "dispose" of all of my old electronics and appliances. On trash day, I set them out, lined up, by the trash can, and one of several different guys with a flatbed truck will roll by and take all of it before the garbage men get here. I would assume they're either fixing them and putting them back into service (good), or recycling them and getting a profit out of that (even better). I doubt they're just throwing them away, since it costs a lot around here to get rid of that much trash. In any event, it's no longer my problem.

    What I DO find highly ironic though... they won't take TV sets. In fact, we had a neighbor evicted and he apparently, unable to pay his rent, had I counted FIVE television sets that were placed out on the curb along with several pieces of furniture and other junk. Those TVs sat there, untouched, for a couple weeks before a bulk trash truck came by and took all of it.

    -Restil

    • by toddestan (632714)
      It's no surprise that they won't take TVs. Most people don't want those "clunky" CRTs anymore, and those that don't care (like myself) already have a pretty nice one or two from someone who didn't want it. I see TVs all the time sitting out for the trash, it's not even worth slowing down unless it's a fairly late model Sony Trinitron. I'd be surprised if they bother picking up CRT computer monitors for the same reason.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @10:15PM (#37052140) Homepage Journal

    http://www.freegeek.org/ [freegeek.org]

    This could potentially impact how they recycle and reuse computers, especially the fact that Apple is providing free recycling for monitors, which usually cost $12 to recycle in any recycling place around the country.

  • Any real company worth their salt, and interested in helping the clients, would offer some credit towards the purchase of their next machine....as most of the still functioning computers can still be sent to 3rd world countries and help the poor.

  • I work for a non-profit that recently set up a computer and e-waste recycling program. I'm actually pretty intimidated right now, because although I believe Apple will lose money on this deal, (unless a ton of people are actually dumb enough to trade a computer that would go for 500 bucks on ebay for a 50 dollar gift card) they may well keep it up as a PR balance to Foxconn, etc. So yes, I'm pretty much just whining, but I won't be the only one facing job-loss because a mega-corporation screwed up and now

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