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Thread: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

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    News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Also aims to power all its stores, offices and data centres using renewable energy.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    So, if it's re-sellable, we give it to Apple and they give us a 'gift card'? If it's not, we just give it to Apple? Why does my bullpoop-ometer wonder if the inherent value of components might make this a cynical move? Or is it just for the PR green points?

    Personally, I'd rather sell old gear myself, or give it away, Freecycle, maybe. And old PCs go to a charity that ships them to third-world schools.

    So, thanks for the offer, Apple, but ..... nah, don't think so.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    If they genuinely take everything though, that could be quite helpful. If you've got some bulky computer equipment that's broken, it might be a lot easier to lug it down to the local Apple store than the nearest council tip, especially if you don't have a car.

    If it stops a few people lobbing junk into woodland/parks/rivers then it's been worthwhile, even if it's a bit of a PR stunt for such worthless gear.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    If they genuinely take everything though, that could be quite helpful. If you've got some bulky computer equipment that's broken, it might be a lot easier to lug it down to the local Apple store than the nearest council tip, especially if you don't have a car.

    If it stops a few people lobbing junk into woodland/parks/rivers then it's been worthwhile, even if it's a bit of a PR stunt for such worthless gear.
    Currys have been doing something similar for a while now. Take any electronics in and they will recycle it for you, no questions asked, no purchase necessary.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Isn't it a typical response from the makers of consumer junk?

    The waste triangle should be reduce, reuse, recycle.
    But the manufacturers of consumer goods are totally opposed to reduce, don't like reuse and their main reason for advocating recycle is that they are afraid of eventually running out of raw material to sell us more consumer junk.

    Also, a lot of the cost of recycling has been socialised so rather than the manufacturer paying, we all do.

    The number one priority should be to consume less, followed by major reuse and repair. But Apple are one of the worst companies for reuse and repair as everything they do is proprietary and hostile to repairs: soldered batteries, glued together cases and so on. Stupid trends which get copied by other manufacturers.

    But then us consumers seem to value bling over substance. Rather than pushing for standard designs, like desktop PCs were (by accident not because consumer electronic companies liked that), with interchangeable parts which can be repaired and replaced the trend is for things which are more and more disposable junk.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Aren't the size and power reduction just whats happening in the electronic/computing industry rather than Apple doing anything special, but i suppose they've never been scared of claiming other companies work as their own ideas.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    But the manufacturers of consumer goods are totally opposed to reduce, don't like reuse and their main reason for advocating recycle is that they are afraid of eventually running out of raw material to sell us more consumer junk.

    Also, a lot of the cost of recycling has been socialised so rather than the manufacturer paying, we all do.
    Manufacturers maybe opposed to reducing E-waste, but that doesn't mean they are not trying to reduce it, or that they design equipment not to be recycled.

    In fact the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods across Europe. It is transposed into UK law by the WEEE Regulations, which include legislation on producer responsibility. Manufacturer and retailers need to achieve minimum levels of WEEE recycling and recovery at their own expense when new purchases are made.

    While it could be argued that we pay higher prices to cover the costs to the producers, we also end up paying extra for many other things above the actual cost to manufacture something.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    The number one priority should be to consume less, followed by major reuse and repair. But Apple are one of the worst companies for reuse and repair as everything they do is proprietary and hostile to repairs: soldered batteries, glued together cases and so on. Stupid trends which get copied by other manufacturers.
    Agree with this totally. But whenever I've bitched about some fancy new mobile having a fixed battery or (less justifiably) upgradable memory - I've had replies along the lines that "no one replaces a phone's battery, so what's the big deal with a non-removable battery" from people on Hexus.

    The other thing that really gets me is when equipment that SHOULD be user serviceable isn't because either of urine-poor design (flash rather than practical) or the manufacturer refuses to allow access to the service information. This means that the gadget heads to the skip ahead of when it would otherwise. Case in point - my missus got a Dell Inspiron laptop at the same time my brother bought an Acer. Both laptops cost about the same but the Dell is still going strong (OS upgrade Vista->7, memory upgrade, new network card 802.11b->.11n and HDD->SDD), whereas the Acer got an OS upgrade then got scrapped. Why? Because the Dell CAN be upgraded by a competent user (or even me apparently) whereas the Acer can't.

    The lesson I learned from that experience - never buy an Acer laptop, no matter how cheap they are. So maybe there's a lesson for manufacturers if enough of us steer clear of the "bad ones".

    Same deal on phones - I stick with those longer than the manufacturers would like because I don't have that battery-life time bomb ticking away. My janky ole Galaxy S3 is on it's second battery and still going strong - and I only bought that because Sony refused to allow the 3rd party ROMers access to their camera etc in the Xperia X10 otherwise I'll still have that!

    Best thing about this Apple announcement is that it might persuade others to be a bit more obvious about what they're doing, and also convince people to look at their devices more closely.

    I could really do with someone to help me recycle some old digital camera's - especially if I can get a couple of quid to offset the cost of replacement. Also shame that most mobile phone recyclers seem to be only one step above double glazing or second-hand car salesmen in terms of immorality.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by HMS_Victory View Post
    Aren't the size and power reduction just whats happening in the electronic/computing industry rather than Apple doing anything special, but i suppose they've never been scared of claiming other companies work as their own ideas.
    Yeah the idle power reductions are a lot more thanks to Intel adding deep sleep modes to the CPUs and also industry standards like S3 sleep... A Windows or Linux PC is just as frugal if it's dropped into S3.

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    But then us consumers seem to value bling over substance. Rather than pushing for standard designs, like desktop PCs were (by accident not because consumer electronic companies liked that), with interchangeable parts which can be repaired and replaced the trend is for things which are more and more disposable junk.
    Sometimes tighter integrated devices save raw materials by not wasting so much building in that ability to be fixable/upgradeable when most users won't actually do it - an old fashioned desktop tower PC uses one heck of a lot of steel/aluminium for it's case and a large ATX motherboard a lot of silicon and copper. You can build several tightly integrated ITX size boxes (or loads of tablets) for the same mass of material...

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    By standard design I didn't just mean normal full size AT or ATX systems though. There is not really any good reason for lots of manufactured goods not to conform to a standard. For PCs ITX or smaller is/could be a standard.

    There are plenty of other examples:
    • microwave oven with maybe 2-3 different rotating plates (if it breaks get a new one rather than dump the whole oven.
    • fridge doors the same height and width with standard positions for their hinges.
    • laptop and phone batteries made to a standard size.
    • etc. etc.


    Actually, even those metal monsters so well known for wasting resources (cars) could be standardised: 3-4 sizes of chassis where you can interchange the doors, wings, bumpers, etc. because they are all made to fit standard screw positions.

    If there is a will, there are certainly plenty of possibilities. Maybe 3D printers will make things more repairable but I can just see such a potentially revolutionary technology being restricted with lawsuits. Companies who spout great PR spin about their environmental credentials will be busy suing people for copying their designs while fixing stuff.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    I'm not sure why they're bragging about how little power their macs use!? As HMS_Victory said, that's happened as a result of other companies reducing die sizes and generally making more efficient components.

    All I will say about the recycling is that other companies already offering this service should watch out. It's only a matter of time before they claim to have invented recycling, pantent it, then sue everyone

    On a serious note though, this is all merely PR stunt to help make them appear more environmentally friendly, even though they're probably the most wasteful company known to man AND the universe. Look at the materials they use for products they know will be discarded within 1-3 years. Look at how difficult or even impossible some of their products are to repair. Repairing and thus being more green would eat into their profits. It's all about the money. I'd imagine they'll be able to make decent profits from old electronics and/or massive tax breaks for being 'environmentally friendly'.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by LeetyMcLeet View Post
    I'd imagine they'll be able to make decent profits from old electronics and/or massive tax breaks for being 'environmentally friendly'.
    I'm sure they will - tax breaks offers for recycling are in place to er.... encourage re-cycling - and while an individual electronics item may have little value, economies of scale kick in and make it worthwhile.

    So Apple are offering a free service to consumers, paid for by tax breaks (perhaps) and the scrap value of the items (probably). Why is that a problem?
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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    I'm sure they will - tax breaks offers for recycling are in place to er.... encourage re-cycling - and while an individual electronics item may have little value, economies of scale kick in and make it worthwhile.

    So Apple are offering a free service to consumers, paid for by tax breaks (perhaps) and the scrap value of the items (probably). Why is that a problem?
    It's not a problem exactly, but I just find the notion of one of the companies responsible for flooding vast amounts of techno-junk, and simultaneously doing everything they can to obsolete previous models just so they can sell a 'new' one as nauseating and hypocritical. Firms like Apple make their money from convincing the sheeple to buy more stuff they don't actually need, and their 'green' stance to mitigate a bit of the damage they themselves are responsible for makes me want to puke.

    Dress a pig in a tuxedo and you still have a pig .... but one with a PR adviser.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    That's exactly what I was saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Dress a pig in a tuxedo and you still have a pig .... but one with a PR adviser.
    I like that, can I have that? iPig

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by LeetyMcLeet View Post
    That's exactly what I was saying.

    I like that, can I have that? iPig
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    Seriously though, it's not exactly original. I just filed off the serial numbers and gave it a lick of paint.

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    Re: News - Apple starts to offer "free responsible recycling" for all tech

    Quote Originally Posted by AETAaAS View Post
    Currys have been doing something similar for a while now. Take any electronics in and they will recycle it for you, no questions asked, no purchase necessary.
    The reason companies do this is due to the WEEE directive. They can offset the things they 'recycle' against what they sell and it means they then don't pay any charges.
    It's basically saving them money by you giving them your old crap

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