Apple Recycling Program: The Good and the Bad


Apple Products

Do you have an old electronic device that you no longer use?  If so, many have old cell phones kept in cabinets waiting to be disposed of.  A new iPhone costs a lot of money, so placing it in the garbage after a few years is not easy.  The device carries a lot of your personal information, and aside from that, it doesn’t decompose that easily.

As a result, Apple established a recycling program to handle these old electronics.  There are several benefits of using Apple’s recycling program to recycle your old iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, or Mac.  For instance, the company first deletes the data safely and effectively.  This eliminates the risk of identity theft when your personal information lands in the wrong hands.

Apple Recycling Program

The purpose is to minimize the wastes that the company generates through its internal activities as well as the consumption behaviors of the end-users of its products.

The following mission-critical tactics have helped Apple achieve its goal.

Trade-In Program: Buyback and trade-ins are part of the company’s sales promotion and marketing strategy.  Owners of eligible devices can trade-in at authorized retail stores and Apple stores.  They will get Apple Gift Card or credit for their future purchases.

Free Recycling: Not all devices are eligible for trade-in.  However, Apple has agreed to recycle and upcycle them for free.  Customers can drop their discarded or old electronic devices at the nearest authorized distributors or official stores because they also serve as collection centers.  Apple will process and recycle these devices free of charge.

Refurbishing: Some of the products collected during the trade-in program are refurbished.  Apple upcycles these devices to make them more marketable and valuable.  Later, these refurbished products reenter the market or are reintroduced with significantly lower price tags than their first introduction.  In fact, as of 2020, Apple had refurbished approximately 10.4 million products and are accessible to end-use consumers.

Material Identification: Apple has transitioned 14 priority raw materials to recycle and renew.  It has intentionally integrated recyclability when designing and producing its products.  These materials include aluminum, glass, plastics, paper, copper, zinc, tin, steel, cobalt, lithium, tungsten, tantalum, and rare earth elements.

Material Recovery: The company has been building its material recovery capabilities over the years.  It created a material recovery lab in Texas in 2019 and fitted it with large machinery mostly used in e-waste recycling facilities.  It also uses Daisy, a recycling robot that disassembles nearly 200 iPhone products and 15 iPhone models per hour.

What You Will Like About Apple’s Recycling Program

You Can Safely Dispose Of Your Old Gadgets

Apple’s program enables you to recycle your old iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch that you paid a lot of money when it was new.  So instead of keeping it inside the cabinet, you can get a trade-in value.  Further, Apple may choose to refurbish or recycle your device based on its condition.  The company doesn’t accept electronics such as Apple TVs and iPods for the trade-in, but it recycles them for free.

Apple accepts Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, LG, HTC devices, and more for recycling.  However, users don’t get trade-in value, but they recycle them responsibly and free.

Your Data is Safe

Apple provides information on how to safely back up your personal information to avoid identity theft risk.  The company wipes your device clean when you turn it in for recycling.  This ensures that your data is safe.

The tech giant has built the highest reputation among consumer electronic manufacturers.  It has invested in customer security and safety.  It also offers excellent customer service and immediately handles all problems that may arise during the trade-in process.

You Can Redeem the Gift Card Online or in a Physical Apple Store

You can purchase more using your gift card.  So Apple Recycle Program is not just an additional source of money but an excellent option for getting a new iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch when yours give out or become obsolete for you.

The Recycle Program is Good for the Planet

The recycling program is a form of the company’s corporate social responsibility and part of its specific environmental strategy.  It has always provided similar activities since early in the 1990s to help its consumers dispose of their discarded or old Apple products responsibly.

Therefore, turning in your old device for recycling even if you won’t get trade-in value is good for the earth.  Recycling electronics help reduce carbon footprint and saves previous materials.

What You Will Dislike About Apple’s Recycling Program

The recycling program doesn’t accept everything.  It takes 1st generation iPhone SE or the latest iPad.  However, the program will receive the device if it’s much older, but it will not allow any trade-in credit.

Apple Determines the Worth of Your Device

It’s up to the company to decide how much your gadget is worth.  However, the amount you quoted online for a gift card may not necessarily be what you receive from Apple.  The good news is that you will receive some store credit if your device is not an older generation.  That means Apple doesn’t give you cash in exchange for your old iPhone or iPad.  Instead, it gives you an Apple gift card of similar value or credits it against your new purchase.

Additionally, you can fetch more money by reselling a newer device on marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist than turning it in for recycling by Apple.

The Advantage Apple Recycling Program

·         To the Company

Circular Supply Chain

The Recycling Program has a huge cost implication because it needs substantial initial investments and maintenance.  Apple is not worried about this because it can offset these costs by upcycling and reintroducing the collected products to the supply chain.

Also, collecting, recycling, and recovering identified raw materials promote a safe and sustainable supply chain.  For that reason creating a circular supply chain is part of Apple’s modern business strategy.  In fact, the 2021 Environmental Progress Report indicated that the company is using 100% recycled aluminum in its devices enclosures.  These include an Apple Watch, iPad and iPad Air, MacBook, Mac Mini, and more.  It’s also using recycled tin solder, tungsten, rare earth materials as well as recycled papers in the paper works and packaging of these products.

New Market and Sales Opportunities

Apple Recycling Program is a new source of revenue.  Refurbishing discarded and old Apple products and reintroducing them to a specific market category generates income.  In other words, Apple reprocesses and upcycles the devices in order to make them marketable and sells them to a given market segment.

New Apple products are costly, but the refurbished ones are good as new.  In fact, the iPhone maker guarantees that its refurbished items are 100% functional.  The team subjects them through qualitative assurance testing.

Further, this consumer electronic device company’s good reputation and positive perception have helped it have high resell value for its refurbished devices and an established niche market.

·         To the Consumers

Discounted New Products

The trade-in program mentioned above benefits the end-use consumers because they receive credit when they surrender their discarded and old electronic devices.  Another advantage is that this program is open to both Apple and Android products from competing brands like Google and Samsung.

You can use the credit from traded old devices to reduce the cost of a new Apple product or get an Apple Gift Card that you can use anytime.  In fact, this can result in huge savings when you turn in several unwanted eligible products.

On the other hand, Apple can recycle ineligible devices for free.  This excellent sales marketing ploy motivates consumers to turn in their old devices.  As mentioned above, recycling old devices is expensive, and giving users an opportunity to turn in discarded and old devices helps lessen wasteful consumption.

Discounted prices

Generally, new Apple products are inherently expensive.  They are only accessible to middle – high-income populations.  However, the refurbished products are 100% as good as new ones.  Therefore, the segment that can’t access the latest Apple products can enjoy similar functions by purchasing the refurbished one.

Further, the usability of these products outweighs its cost considering that Apple has a good reputation for building long-lasting products.  Therefore refurbished items allow consumers to save money because the products follow similar standards used to manufacture new products.  They also undergo the same controls, measures and have equal standard warranties similar to new ones.  In fact, you need to worry because a defective refurbished product is always replaced with a newer one


Purity Muriuki
I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, technology, health, lifestyle, fitness, electronics, social media marketing and much more. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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