My computer will be two years old in September. I believe that's a good age for an upgrade, so I began thinking of recycling options. Here's what I found out.
This process began just after I dove into the subject of recycling in my supply chain blog last week and concluded that it's time for manufacturers to start taking responsibility for recycling electronic devices that contain toxic materials.
My first step was to visit Apple's recycling website, where I found useful information about the environmentally friendly disposal of devices. I think it represents a good example of the kind of program I was suggesting in my blog.
Apple recycles products of any manufacturer. This is convenient for enterprises with computers, tablets, and smartphones from different manufacturers. When the CIO is planning on upgrading the company's electronics, a parallel recycling program could be implemented as an ideal plan.
Through another program, iPods can be recycled at an Apple store, generating a discount of 10 percent off a new one. Apple sends a prepaid package to make recycling less troublesome; I plan to send several dinosaur phones I have found during my spring cleaning.
As if contributing with a cleaner environment were not enough, desktops and laptops can qualify to be reused. PowerOn, a recycling company contracted by Apple, will evaluate the product and will estimate the fair market value of it. If you agree on the estimated value, you ship the product using the prepaid packaging.
After a couple of weeks, you receive an Apple gift card for the agreed amount. The card can be used to buy a new product online or off. Following this link you can check the estimated market value of the devices you plan to recycle. If they don't have any monetary value in the market, Apple will still recycle them at no cost.
Many electronic products today are designed for energy efficiency. This means that when you use such a device, you are also saving energy. Apple, for example, implemented its environmental policy back in 1990. One of its most ambitious goals is to supply all its power from renewable sources. All Apple's datacenters providing customer services, except for facilities in Austin, Cork, Munich, and Cupertino, are already running on renewable sources.
This gets back to my earlier blog about the incentives for manufacturers to adopt green policies. For customers, it's nice to find out that the devices you use daily have environmental benefits. It's also a source of inspiration and a good example to follow.