Apple begins e-waste buyback program

In an effort to curb the growing amount of electronic waste being generated by outdated devices, Apple has begun a program to help its customers recycle their old products responsibly. The company is offering a free mail-back recycling program. According to, Apple will pay consumers for their unwanted, but still functional, iPhones, iPads and computers, both Mac and PCs, for the device's value in Apple gift cards.

Much like selling a car, the value of these outdated devices will be based on their condition, such as battery life and potential water damage. Consumers can mail their device to the company in a pre-paid shipping box and will receive a gift card in exchange that can be used at any U.S. Apple store or on the company's website. A first-generation iPad in good condition is worth $165, so this could be a great option for anyone having a hard time selling their devices and would still like to get a return on their investments. While some may see this as a ploy for Apple to increase its market share, the company's willingness to recycle products it doesn't make shows that it is committed to the cause of sustainability.

A wide range of products can be recycled through Apple's program, and even if the device doesn't have any monetary value, it will be recycled for free. A great deal of these products can be reused to make new music players, tablets and computers, so it's a no-brainer for Apple to get in on the recycling trend. As one of the world's most popular companies, it will play an enormous role in giving consumers a useful outlet to reduce their electronic waste.