How to recycle your old tech with Apple’s Recycling Program

By , Mar 10, 2016

Apple Recycling Program Guide Banner

If you have old tech sitting in your closet or attic that you don’t use anymore because you’ve got something better, Apple will gladly make sure that tech is recycled properly free of cost via the Apple Recycling Program. In some instances, the company will even give you an Apple Store gift card as credit towards a new Apple device or accessories.

The Apple Recycling Program has been around for ages, but is often overlooked as an option. Although better deals can often be had elsewhere, the urge to trade in your device can come at inopportune times, and when you want quick money for your old Apple devices, or a quick and easy way to get rid of your junk tech, Apple can come in handy in a pinch.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can use the Apple Recycling Program to make better use of your unused tech.

Recycling your Apple tech for an Apple Store gift card

In many instances, Apple will give you money for some of your used Apple tech. Admittedly, they won’t give you nearly as much as you’re going to want for it, so I’d personally suggest you try to sell your Apple tech elsewhere, such as on Craigslist or Ebay, before you choose Apple as a medium of getting rid of your soon obsolete stuff.

Nevertheless, if you have a product that qualifies for an Apple Store gift card, here’s how you can convert it into Apple Store currency:

1) Visit the Apple Recycling Program website in your favorite web browser and choose the Get an Apple Store Gift Card for your old device option.

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 1

2) In the next page that loads, scroll down slightly and click on the Get Started button.

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 2

3) On the next page, you’ll choose the type of device you want to trade in. For our example, we’re selecting Mac or PC because we want to see the value of our MacBook Pro.

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 3

4) This will open a new tab unrelated to Apple’s website; no worries – this is normal. Here, you’ll give Apple more details about the type of computer you want to trade in. Follow along as we choose our mid-2015 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display to see what Apple will give us for it:

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 7

5) After going through the steps to select the model of computer we’re looking to trade in, the site will ask us about the condition and usability of the machine:

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 8

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 9

6) After the website gets a chance to analyze the value of what you’ve got, it will give you a value amount that Apple would be willing to put on an Apple Store gift card for you.

Note: In my case, my $2,500 MacBook Pro with Retina display is worth a $914.55 gift card through Apple’s trade-in system. Although I’d never sell it off for that low of an amount because of how new it still is, if I had hypothetically accepted the offer, I would click on the black Checkout button. This allows me to enter my contact information and move forward with the trade:

apple tech recycling gift card tutorial 10

The process is the same whether you’re trading in a Mac or not. In many cases, Apple will provide a decent amount of cash because they want your shell for remanufacturing so they can re-puropose your hardware in a new shell. In other cases, such as Windows PCs and competing products, they’ll give you value based on the gold and other materials within the computer that potentially have any value.

You can also choose from mobile devices, and you’ll just go through the same steps as we did above.

Although the steps above will give you an Apple Store gift card for something that is relatively new and still has any value left, let’s say you have a really old piece of tech that doesn’t really have any value anymore – what should you do then?

You can either keep it as a paperweight, or you can donate it to recycling to help the environment so it doesn’t end up in the trash somewhere where the harmful chemicals in the device can cause harm to the environment.

Recycling old tech with little or no monetary value

If you’re looking for an easy way to recycle old tech that you can’t really get any money for on Ebay, or that you just don’t want anymore, you can always take it over to Best Buy and they’ll gladly recycle it for free.

On the other hand, Apple’s Recycling Program also allows you to recycle these kinds of useless devices, but you just won’t get any gift cards for them like you would with something that was actually worth something. If it’s an Apple iPod, however, Apple will still be gracious and provide you with a 10% coupon for any Apple Retail Store visit.

To recycle a worthless obsolete piece of tech via Apple’s Recycling Program, follow these steps:

1) Visit the Apple Recycling Program website in your favorite web browser and click on the Recycle your iPod or mobile phone responsibly option.

apple tech recycling for free tutorial 1

2) In the next window, you’ll be given a form to fill out. It’ll let you choose how many devices you’re sending to Apple, and also let you fill out the shipping information so that you can either print out your own shipping label and use your own box, or receive a prepaid mailer in the mail.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 8.25.17 PM

3) After filling out the form and clicking on the blue Continue button thereafter, you’ll either print out your shipping label and put all your devices into a box with the label you printed out, or you’ll wait for the prepaid mailer to appear in your mailbox before sending everything out to Apple.

Note: When returning devices to Apple in this way, there is no way you can get them back, so make sure you’re entirely sure you want to send a product for recycling before you proceed.

Wrapping up

Whether you want monetary value for your trade-ins, or just want to recycle your tech antiques that are collecting dust, Apple’s Recycling Program is a useful tool that can come in handy in a pinch.

Do keep in mind that selling your items on Ebay, or using third-party selling services such as Gazelle, can often yield higher resale values than Apple’s trade-in system. Although we’re fully aware of this, the point of this guide is to show how you can use Apple’s own system.

Have you ever used Apple’s Recycling Program before? If so, share your experience in the comments below!

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    There’s two problems with this, one is that the technology you’re trying to recycle needs to be on and working. The second is, even if it’s in perfect condition, you don’t get much for it..

  • What

    My 13in Macbook Pro (2010) still looks and works great and they’re only offering me $120-150 store credit. No thank you.

    • The Guy

      No thank you?? Your system is 6 years old… I would have to be on drugs to even give you $100 for it.