Many have tried to find methods to recycle Apple products in a world filled with Apple e-waste, but few succeeded. The company has come a long way since the creation of its first computer on April 1st, 1976. Ever since, it has consistently reigned as one of the top tech giants of the industry, with upgrades upon upgrades to better its user experience.
Naturally, this results in a huge amount of e-waste from the tech company. In fact, researchers estimate that current Apple’s e-waste is about 200,000 metric tons, which increases with each new Apple release. However, according to the UN, only 20% of e-waste is recycled every year. This isn’t very much.
Being one of the fastest-growing domestic waste, unrecycled e-waste is a severe environmental threat. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 things you can try instead of adding to Apple’s increasing e-waste.
Take the iPhone, for example. The top-selling smartphones of all time are still the iPhone 7. Released way back in 2016, it is still seeing strong sales even now. The brand has sold about 156.7 million units of the iPhone 7 since its launch.
At the moment, we are currently at iPhone 13. That’s six upgrades for one model in 6 years. If not properly recycled, this adds up to 5 discarded iPhones per person in 5 years. And this is just their smartphone line. Apple’s ecosystem continues to expand to other expensive devices.
For hardcore Apple fans, reselling your old Apple devices to fund your next ones is a smart and economical shopping move. Apple is known for its high-quality products. Therefore, a one-year-old Apple that was handled with care will see a very generous offer. Damaged products will receive a lesser price, depending on the performance, functionalities, and damaged extents of the devices.
Lots of online e-commerce sites can provide safe and secure platforms to resell your used Apple products, like eBay, Amazon, and Swappa. Bonus point: You can hunt for good deals and big coupons for these e-commerce platforms directly on Tenere.
The Apple trade-in program
Each year, about 1.2 million devices are recycled at Apple. If you wonder whether Apple knows about their worsening e-waste pollution, they do. Along with their pledge to focus on recycled, recovered, and sustainable sources for their products, Apple also issues a recovery program – the Apple Trade-In program.
The Apple trade-in program lets you turn in your used iPhone, iPad, and or Apple products for either Apple store credits or gift cards. This allows you to recover some of your spending on Apple products, or fund your next ones. In case there are no Apple stores close by, Apple will send you a trade-in kit to send your devices back.
With credit values going up to $650, trading in your used Apple products is a good deal in most cases. If your products are too damaged to receive any credits, you can still turn them in to have them recycled for free. This makes the Apple Trade-In program a good option for any eco-friendly Apple enthusiasts.
The program isn’t reserved only for Apple products. Android products from Samsung are also accepted at a good credit rate, going as high as $295. Check out the list of accepted devices and their respective rates here.
Apple I – the first Apple computer was made over 50 years ago. There are still some very old Apple devices out there not recycled. While not as economical as the previous two options, a local recycler is an OK option for those whose Apple products are too out-of-date or damaged for reselling or trade-in.
In recyclers, the handlers will take apart the old devices to salvage whatever is usable, and discard the rest. Common retrieved materials from recycled smartphones include gold, silver, copper, and palladium. Other unusable parts like plastic or metals will be recycled or discarded sustainably.
Another crucial reason to send you old Apple devices to recyclers instead of throwing them away is because of battery acid. In older Apple models, a liquid electrolyte such as sulfuric acid is usually used. When discarded improperly, these corrosive liquids heavily pollute the environment.
Some local recyclers will offer you a few bucks for your devices. But compared to other aforementioned services, recyclers don’t offer much refunding for future Apple purchases.
If you are an avid Apple fan, chances are you own a growing collection of the latest Apple products, which you update annually. But instead of throwing away the older models, giving them to friends and family, or donating might be a better way to recycle these electronic devices.
Donation to those in need is both a charitable and environmental way to recycle your used Apple devices. Not everyone can afford an Apple product. Selling at an average of $758 per unit, an iPhone can literally cost an arm and a leg. So your Apple devices donations will definitely be appreciated.
Nowadays, there are many ways to donate your used phone. Either Google close by donation shops and donate your phone there or go on forums and ask for people in need of a used Apple device. You can also contact trustworthy ENGOs that directly deal with e-waste to recycle electronic devices via donating them.
There are also goodwill stores and charity drive-bys that accept electronic products as donations. Make sure that your old device still functions sufficiently when donating them. A broken device helps no one, not to mention disheartening for the charity workers and those in need.
By now, it should be clear how throwing away a perfectly-good last-year model Apple device is bad for the environment, no? Upgrading your last-year perfectly-working Apple devices with the latest models can be awkward.
Since they are different models of the same device, the older one will become obsolete despite it being still in perfect condition. Which begs the question: what to do with a perfectly working old phone?
If you don’t feel like giving away your old Apple devices for recycling, you might want to try upcycling them instead of hoarding them. Apple devices, along with other e-waste, cost Americans around $71 billion per year.
Upcycling is perfect for people who wish to upgrade their Apple devices while keeping their perfectly-working older ones. Unlike recycling, upcycling means repurposing your old Apple devices. For example, you can use an old iPad similar to a Kindle E-Reader, or an old iPhone can be repurposed as a music player for your car. This way, your older Apple devices get a second life.
Keep in mind that if your devices are too out-of-date and no longer function properly, then recycling is still the top choice to get rid of an old Apple product.
Other notable details for recycling different Apple e-waste
- Apple TV: The Siri TV remote runs on a lithium battery, and should be handled by Apple specialists only.
- iPhone/iPad: Make sure to restore your device to factory setting before trading them in or recycling them to avoid losing personal information.
- AirPods/Apple Watch: The best way to recycle your AirPods or Apple Watch is by trading them in. Both of them are small and also run on lithium batteries, making them an environmental threat if not disposed of properly.
- Chargers and wires: Old chargers and wires have a high amount of copper and aluminum, which makes them very recyclable. Why Apple is yet to accept them as a trade-in, you can bring your old Apple wires and chargers to stores like BestBuy or Walmart for recycling.
Apple is one of the primary contributors to global e-waste. Understandably, with many Apple fans opting to replace their fairly new Apple products with the latest model from the brand, Apple e-waste is rocketing.
That being said, Apple is a worthy brand to shop from, not only because of their effort in reducing e-waste but also for their commitment to sustainability. With a pledge to go carbon-neutral in 2030, Apple is well on its way to reducing the environmental impact of its e-waste.
These aforementioned tips encompass everything you need to know about recycling Apple devices. As both an environmentally-conscious consumer and an Apple fan, why not try recycling your Apple device according to these tips? Being a green coupon app, Tenere is proud to bring you the latest offers from Apple. Learn how you can shop economically and environmentally conscious right here.