Apple Launches Trade-In/Recycling Program

In advance of the annual Earth Day celebration on Sunday, Apple has announced a GiveBack program that lets you trade in eligible devices for an Apple Store gift card or recycle them if they’re not eligible for credit.

Trade-in values for Apple and non-Apple products scale up to $1,000 for computers, $315 for smartphones, $285 for tablets, and up to $175 for Apple Watches.

To find out the “trade status” of your device, click here and select the appropriate category — smartphone, computer, tablet, or watch — and follow the prompts. After answering a few questions about features and condition, you get a trade-in estimate and Apple sends you a prepaid trade-in kit or shipping label.

You can also bring the device you want to trade-in or recycle to a participating Apple store. Click here to locate an Apple Store near you.

To give you an idea of trade-in values, a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone (64 GB) in good working condition nets $100, which can be redeemed for a gift card or put toward a new iPhone. The trade-in value for an iPhone 7 Plus (128 GB) in good working condition is $315, which you get in the form of an Apple Store gift card once the value of the device has been verified by Brightstar, the company administering the program for Apple.

The other option is to select “other devices,” which lists a dozen devices and categories eligible for recycling. The choices range from Apple TV and iPod to generic product categories such as displays and headphones and speakers. Remarkably, HomePod appears in the drop-down menu in what we suspect is a mistake since the smart speaker has only been on the market since early February.

iPhones that have outlived their usefulness are sent to a special material recovery facility “manned” by Daisy, a robot that can disassemble and recover valuable materials from up to 200 iPhones per hour. For every 100,000 iPhones recycled, Apple says it recovers more than 4,000 pounds of aluminum and 1,500 pounds of copper in addition to recovering smaller amounts of silver, gold, and other materials.

Click here for a list of iPhones eligible for recycling.

The program runs through April 30 and Apple will make a donation to Conservation International for every device it receives through the end of the month.

Worried about all that personal data ensconced in the device you’re trading in or recycling? Apple will “show you how to safely back up and wipe your data, so you can keep all your information to yourself.”

In the case of a device that’s still in good working condition, Apple goes a step beyond merely recycling the product. “If it’s in good shape, we’ll help it go to a new owner. If not, we’ll send it to our recycling partner, so we can save more precious materials and take less from the earth.”