Apple Is Making It Easier to Recycle Your Devices

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 22 2014 1:54 PM

Apple Is Making It Easier to Recycle Your Devices

If the retired Apple products in your house span this timeline, you can give them a final resting place for free.

Photo from Apple.

Apple has had mail-in recycling options, and trade-in initiatives for a while, but beginning today you'll be able to take your retired Apple devices to any Apple store in the world for free recycling. And if one of your castoff is in good shape, you might get store credit for it, too.

The initiative is a tangible action that relates to what CEO Tim Cook was talking about in yesterday's slightly abstract Better video. The goals seemed vague in the video, but this initiative is something that's immediately useful. Apple reports that it has recycled 421 million pounds of equipment since 1994 and many Apple recycling events accept devices made by other companies.


E-waste recycling is exactly the type of public service that a company like Apple can provide more efficiently than small groups, thanks to its reach. That doesn't mean small community-based initiatives can't produce meaningful results. It just means that Apple's size gives it an easy opportunity to make responsible decisions. And when it comes to the environment, scale is important.

In the video Tim Cook says, "Better can't be better if it doesn't consider everything. Our products. Our values. And an even stronger commitment to the environment for the future. ... To us, better is a force of nature." It kind of feels like that doesn't mean anything, but maybe Apple can actually translate some of the PR speak into action. And being able to drop any old Apple product off at one of the company's stores will just be downright convenient.

Future Tense is a partner in the Green Electronics Challenge, a competition for makers from the U.S., China, and elsewhere to create something new from electronic waste. For more information and to enter, visit the Green Electronics Challenge website.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 5:19 PM Social Outcasts Republican candidates are retreating from debates on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 5:47 PM California Gov. Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrant for Police Surveillance Drones
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.