How to Dispose of Old iPads?

Old electronics often pile up in our junk drawer over the years, we do not know what to do with most of the time. The boxes of these devices tell us not to throw them in the normal garbage, but it doesn’t quite tell us how to get rid of them. 

iPads are an excellent innovation by Apple which makes computing easy on the go. However, once they reach their natural end of use, you may wonder what are your options for getting rid of them. You may want that new iPad or that Samsung tablet that came out, but your old iPad needs to be taken care of before that. 

This article will explain how you can dispose of your iPad, what you should do before you dispose of it and why proper disposal is so important. 

How to Dispose of Old iPads?

When it comes to disposing of an old iPad, you have three main options: trade it in at the Apple store, give it away for recycling or sell/donate it. 

Apple’s trade-in program: 

Apple as a company is making a push for a carbon-neutral future by 2030. As a part of their sustainability goals, they started a trade-in program for Apple and their third-party devices. 

You can take your iPad to an Apple store and hand it in for a trade-in option. The staff will assess your device and depending on the model and the condition of your iPad you will get a gift card of a certain dollar amount. 

If your device is dead, you can hand it in for free recycling. 

If you don’t have an Apple store around you, you can contact them online. They will send you a delivery box and you can send your device to them free of charge. The online process takes about 2-3 weeks whereas if you go to the store it’s instantaneous. You can find out more about their Trade-in program here. You can find Apple’s website link for your country here

Sell or Donate your device: 

If trading in your iPad is not an option for you, you can donate or sell it. If your iPad is in good working condition then you can consider posting an addad on eBay, or Craigslist to see if anyone is interested. 

If you are feeling generous, you can even donate it to a local charity. Sometimes local charities get overlooked because we are less likely to hear about them. See if you can find any such charity or a person who may have used an iPad.

Perhaps you have a relative who is struggling and their children would be thrilled to have an iPad but their parents simply cannot afford it at the moment. Or may you know a neighbor who is a single parent and an iPad would be the perfect gift for their kid.? Always look around you before you give your device away to a larger charity. 

If you want to donate it to a program that redistributes used electronics like computers or tablets to underfunded schools or underprivileged communities, I’ve got you covered. 

Computers With Causes is a charity based in the United States that redistributes iPads, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices to people in need. 

Many such charities take in your old devices and give them to someone who could make use of it. 

They often donate the iPads they collect from you to schools, soldiers serving in the military, homeless shelters, etc. These charities are a great way to reuse precious electronics that have been replaced by newer technology for you. And they help a lot of underprivileged people in need. 

Recycling your iPad: 

If your device is dead or reached its end of use, then the best option is to recycle it. Some programs accept devices from all over the United States like Earth11. All you have to do is go to their site, type in your zip code, and see what recycling options you have in your area. 

There are programs like Earth11 in other countries as well. In many big cities in Europe and India, there are reverse vending machines that accept electronic devices like iPads. There are many local electronic waste recycling centers as well, and you can check out what your options are around your area. 

Keep in mind that you can hand over your device to the Apple store for free and they will recycle it for you. Recycling is an option you should choose if you are sure that the device is dead or obsolete. 

Clean your data before you give away your iPad:

Your iPad likely has confidential information that may be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. Nowadays, iPads or cell phones contain contact information, personal files, bank information, and a slew of other sensitive content. You should always make sure you factory reset your device before you hand it over. Make sure you backup your data to the Cloud before you erase everything. After you clean the device, take out any SIM card if your iPad has one. 

As for dead iPads which will not turn on, since you cannot switch the device on, it’s best to hand it over to Apple. They will protect your data, and you do not have to worry about your data being misused. 

Why it is important to reuse or recycle iPads: 

iPads are considered electronic waste, these devices have many precious metals in them which can be harvested. And when we throw these into the trash we waste these non-renewable resources. Moreover, iPads contain toxic chemicals that leach into the ground in the landfills and pollute the nearby areas and water sources. 

Lastly, electronic waste is the largest source of solid waste in the world at the moment. Each year millions of tons of electronic waste isare dumped into landfills. This is particularly concerning since we are running out of the materials we need to build new devices. For all the Earth’s inhabitants to have access to iPads and other personal devices, we need to recycle the materials from older products. 

Conclusion: 

iPads are an excellent innovation by Apple which makes computing easy on the go. However, once they reach their natural end of use, you may wonder what are your options for getting rid of them. You may want that new iPad or that Samsung tablet that came out, but your old iPad needs to be taken care of before that. 

This article explains how you can dispose of your iPad, what you should do before you dispose of it and why proper disposal is so important. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Dispose of Old iPads

How do I dispose of old iPads? 

You can take it to the Apple store for their Trade-in program or you can call a local recycler to hand it over. 

Can I exchange an old iPad in the Apple store? 

Yes, if your device is running and operational, you can exchange it for a gift card via Apple’s trade-in program. You can also exchange your old device to get a newer device for a reduced price.  

Can I throw my old iPad in the trash? 

No, iPads are considered e-waste. They contain precious metals which can be recycled and metals and chemicals that are toxic if they are not disposed of properly. 

How do I dispose of my dead iPad? 

The best option is to take it to an Apple Store for their free recycling service or contact a local e-waste recycling company. 

Are dead iPads valuable as scraps? 

Yes, they are valuable. However, you shouldn’t sell your old iPad to a scrap yard. These devices are very sophisticated and there are sophisticated ways to recycle them. Thus you should contact Apple or a legitimate e-waste recycling company for your iPad. 

Can I recycle my old iPad? 

Yes, there are many avenues you can take to recycle your iPad. You can take your iPad to an Apple Store or contact Apple online to send your iPad to them. You can also contact Call2Recycle which has pickup services for old phones and rechargeable batteries all over the United States. 


References: 

  1. Apple Trade InTrade-In. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in
  2. Cleaning Up Electronic Waste (E-Waste) | US EPA. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.epa.gov/international-cooperation/cleaning-electronic-waste-e-waste
  3. National Services. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.apple.com/recycling/nationalservices/
  4. How to Recycle Your iPad 1 After You Buy an iPad 2. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-recycle-your-ipad-4864142
  5. 3 Ways to Recycle an iPad – wikiHow. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.wikihow.com/Recycle-an-iPad
  6. How to Dispose of an iPad | Ethical Shift. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.ethicalshift.com/eco-friendly/disposing/electrical-goods/how-to-dispose-of-an-ipad/
  7. Sell or give away your iPad. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/ipad/ipada92a4d12/ipados
  8. iPad Donation – Donate iPads – Computers with Causes Charity. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.computerswithcauses.org/ipad-donation/
  9. Donate your old phone or tablet to charity | Little Lives UK. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://www.littlelives.org.uk/donate/donate-phone-tablet-charity/
  10. Donate a device. (2022). Retrieved 23 February 2022, from https://secure.asylumseekerscentre.org.au/content/donate-device

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