updated 10:07 pm EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Non-functioning units will be recycled, recent working units can be exchanged for gift cards
Continuing its multi-pronged and environmentally-minded publicity push on Monday, Apple has also initiated a new program that will turn all Apple Stores into recycling centers, accepting all used Apple devices either for free (in the case of non-functional and older devices) or in exchange for a gift card (for newer, functional units). The new plan is part of an effort to reduce the company's "footprint" in terms of manufacturing pollution, and keep more of its electronics out of landfills.
The program, which is administered with help from PowerON, will help prevent any toxins used in older or recent Apple products (such as the chemicals in batteries) from contaminating soil or groundwater, which can happen when they aren't properly recycled. For recent, functioning and good-condition equipment that could be resold, the stores will offer gift cards usable to purchase other Apple hardware.
"What the company wants to do," explained Apple Vice President of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, "is use all our innovation and all of our expertise to make the planet more secure and make the environment better." The move follows a release of a video, narrated by CEO Tim Cook, about the company's environmental efforts to date, and an interview with Jackson appearing in the next issue of Wired magazine. Perhaps coincidentally, a leaked video about Apple's planned "Campus 2" project that also emphasizes the campus' environmental aspects appeared on Monday.