Apple, Google, Walmart, Staples And Best Buy are Recycling Devices For Free, And They’ll Even Pay For Shipping

Tech Republic

A recent survey has found that half of Americans firmly believe that major companies should be held accountable for the waste generated by their products. These 5 large conglomerates include Apple, Walmart, Google, Staples and Walmart. In a commendable move, these five corporations are already taking steps to address this growing concern.

Apple, which stands out as the frontrunner in this regard, has already been at the forefront of green gadget recycling programs since 1994. Having gone beyond just iPhones and Macs, Apple collects a wide range of devices, including Android models and Windows computers, from numerous countries. By diverting tons of electronic waste from landfills and salvaging precious materials, they have successfully recycled 19 million pounds of e-waste annually by 2010. This figure accounted for nearly 30% of the weight of their products sold seven years prior, effectively covering the entire lifecycle of their devices. Notably, Apple offers free recycling services and trade-in value for devices that still hold monetary worth.

Moreover, all the e-waste that’s collected by Apple in North America is processed domestically, without shipping anything overseas for disposal.

Similarly, other companies like Google, incentivize recycling by offering credits or free recycling for traded-in used gadgets. They even provide the option to request a free shipping label to mail in such devices for recycling.

Another conglomerate, Staples, accepts a broad range of devices for recycling, regardless of brand, condition, or purchase location. Their extensive list of eligible items includes not only desktops, laptops, and tablets but also eReaders, shredders, monitors, GPS devices, battery backups, digital cameras, MP3 players, ink and toner, external hard drives, cordless phones, and wireless routers. According to PC Magazine, Staples has successfully collected nearly 166 million pounds of e-waste since 2012 through their green collections.

Meanwhile, Walmart’s Gadgets to Gift Cards program provides a unique opportunity for individuals to earn value from their old phones, tablets, game controllers, speakers, laptops, and wearables. Even if the items have no monetary value, Walmart ensures their proper recycling. In some cases, electronics are refurbished and reused. To participate in the program, users need to fill out an online form and receive a free prepaid shipping label from FedEx Ground. For items with value, participants are also rewarded with a Walmart e-gift card.

According to, Best Buy, arguably, has the best recycling program going. It states, “Its website details exactly what the store will take, and a drop-down menu in each category gets specific for your state. You can bring in up to three items per day. Most of them can be recycled for free; others might make you eligible for a discount or get you a trade-in deal.”

A recent poll commissioned by Covanta, a sustainable materials management resource, surveyed 2,000 adults and discovered that over half of Americans (56%) are more inclined to support companies that incorporate recycled materials into their products. Respondents expressed a desire for companies to take responsibility for their waste stream, with a focus on the safe and secure disposal of hazardous materials (59%), the reuse and recycling of materials whenever possible (58%), and the production of products made with recycles materials (53%). Apple’s commitment to these values is truly praiseworthy.

In anticipation of Earth Day, Apple has announced  “a major acceleration of its efforts to expand recycled materials.” By 2025, they aim to achieve 100% recycled cobalt in all Apple-designed batteries and entirely recycled rare earth elements in their magnets. Additionally, all printed circuit boards will employ 100% recycled tin soldering and gold plating. Already, Apple sources ‘over two-thirds of its aluminum, nearly three-quarters of all rare earth metals, and more than 95% of all tungsten, from 100 percent recycled material.’

Chief Sustainability Officer, Tequila Smith, at Covanta said, “Corporations have a massive impact on the environment. And it’s in their favor to be responsible for the waste they generate. They can achieve this by utilizing sustainable service options that maximize product reuse that contributes to the circular economy.”

Moreover, 53 percent of those polled shared that they’d more likely be inclined to be sustainable in their own homes and neighborhoods if they witnessed big companies take a stronger stance on climate change.

Smith added, “There is a clear ‘want’ people have for products made sustainably and a level of inspiration that people gain when they see a company they like doing something good for the environment.”

However, no matter how other companies are choosing to act in terms of global climate wars and change, everyone can celebrate Earth Day by choosing to recycle their old electronics instead of carelessly keeping them at home and eventually tossing them into the trash and becoming a bigger part of the already bothersome climate issues.


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