How to recycle an apple macbook

In this article, we discuss the various methods one can utilise in order to recycle their apple macbook. We also discuss why it is essential to safely dispose of your e-waste and the problems associated with not doing so.

Recycling your Macbook

In order to recycle your macbook, there are certain options that are viable. Some of those are mentioned below:

  • Contact an Apple Retailer
  • Look for third party recyclers

We shall discuss these two in brief.

Contact an Apple retailer

Apple has an excellent recycling program where you can recycle your macbook for no cost at all. In order to do so, simply contact an Apple electronics retailer near you.

You may need to show a proof of purchase or ownership. Once you’ve done so, you can hand over your macbook there, from where it will be recycled.

Alternatively, you can also contact Apple through their website, where they would guide you on how to mail your macbook and where to do so.

Look for third party recyclers

There are a lot of recyclers that specialise in recycling of e-waste. Since e-waste is a rapidly growing problem, there are always a number of e-waste recyclers available in your area.

Some recyclers may even check whether the macbook is in a working condition, and would pay you a certain sum, after which they would refurbish it and sell it to someone or donate it to charity, thereby making your life easier as well.

What is e-waste and why should you recycle it?

Electronic items are being purchased in greater numbers than ever before. Every day, newer, quicker technology is released, requiring electrical equipment to be upgraded on a regular basis.

This implies that laptops, cellphones, and gaming systems that are no longer in use are regularly dumped. Electronic rubbish, sometimes known as e-waste, is the word used to characterise these now-unwanted electronic items.

Electronic waste, or simply e-waste, is discarded electronics that have the potential to harm our environment if improperly disposed of.

Additionally, it should also be emphasised that electronic waste is one of the fastest increasing components of our nation’s waste stream. 

Any electronic item that is damaged, can no longer be utilised, or has become old or obsolete is included in this category.

And in an era where technology is improving nearly every electronic gadget that people own, we know that the number of devices we trash each year will continue to rise.

In New York, it is strictly prohibited to discard gadgets that contain certain ecologically hazardous elements. 

Flat-screen televisions, monitors, computers, laptops, mouse, keyboards, mini servers, printers and scanners, tablets, MP3 players, VCRs, DVD players, and other electronic devices are included.

Cell phones, smartphones, pagers, stereos, radios, landline telephones, cameras, and CD players are all examples of e-waste.

All smart gadgets, from iPhones to iPads, Apple Watches, Fitbits, Kindles, Nooks, and Amazon Fire Tablets; Virtual Reality (VR) gear; Virtual Assistants; Electric scooters; and more have recently been added to the list as electronics makers become more sophisticated.

You can bet that as soon as a new device is produced, a new and even more inventive model will be released within months, compelling us to replace the now-outdated version.

Advantages of recycling e-waste

There are certain advantages associated with recycling e-waste which is crucial for the environment as well. Some of these advantages are:

  • Prevents toxic hazards
  • Allows us to reuse materials
  • Takes care of the environment

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Prevents toxic hazards

If not properly disposed of, e-waste can include toxic compounds such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can pollute the environment.

When e-waste is disposed of in landfills, hazardous chemicals can leak into soil and rivers, harming populations and the environment, as the Minamata tragedy demonstrated.

Even trace amounts of these harmful elements might create difficulties, but the situation becomes considerably more serious when millions of e-waste devices are deposited in landfills.

Recycling can securely remove mercury and other hazardous compounds from e-waste, keeping them from ending up in landfills and damaging the environment.

Allows us to reuse materials

E-waste contains valuable metals and materials that may be utilised in the manufacture of your next smartphone or tablet.

When e-waste is recycled, tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver, gold, and plastic may all be recovered.

Many of these non-renewable resources, on the other hand, may never be utilised again if they are tossed in the trash and wind up in landfill.

Recycling e-waste keeps finite resources out of landfills and puts them to use in new products, minimising our reliance on new materials.

Takes care of the environment

We are all responsible for environmental protection, and one of the simplest ways to do so is to reduce the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills.

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2017, around 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were created globally in 2016, with just 20% being collected and repurposed.

On top of all the other garbage that ends up in landfill, there’s a lot of electrical gadgets, white goods, and machinery.

Steps to follow before recycling your macbook

Before you hand over your macbook for recycling, it is vital to retrieve any critical data that may be present in it and to unsync your iCloud account from it.

The following steps are helpful for a user to figure out what to do before disposing their macbook:

  • Backup Your Macbook
  • Sign out of iCloud
  • De-authorize Your Macbook with the iTunes Store
  • Sign out of Your iMessages Account
  • Erase Your Macbook’s Drive
  • Clean Your Macbook

We shall discuss these in brief.

Backup your Macbook

Backup your Mac before you do anything else. All of your files should be backed up, and your Mac’s disc should be cloned. 

You may have a Time Machine backup, which is excellent, but if you use Intego Personal Backup to clone your disc, you can copy that clone back to your new Mac and start using it right away.

You won’t have to download or reinstall any software, and you’ll keep all of your Mac’s settings. Of course, you may wish to perform a clean installation for a variety of reasons. But a clone is the most secure way to save all the data on your Mac.

Sign out of iCloud

Sign out of your iCloud account once you’ve completed your backups. To do so, navigate to System Preferences > iCloud and select Sign Out from the drop-down menu.

If you have Find My Mac turned on, you’ll need to disable it first. If you sign out of iCloud, your device will be removed from Apple’s servers but not from the iTunes Store.

De-authorize Your Macbook with the iTunes Store

The next step is to remove your Mac from the iTunes Store’s authorization list. This is simple: go to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer in the Music app (if you’re on macOS Catalina or later) or iTunes, and follow the steps.

This is critical since an iTunes Store account can only authorise five Macs, so if you have additional computers, be sure the one you’re getting rid of is no longer linked to your account. 

If you have an Audible account, you may also deauthorize it from the Account > Authorizations menu.

Sign out of Your iMessages Account

You still have one more account to sign out of: your iMessages account. Choose Preferences > Accounts in Messages, then click your iMessages account and Sign Out.

Erase Your Macbook’s Drive

It’s time to delete your Mac’s drive once you’ve logged out of all your accounts and made sure you have a good backup — two backups is even better – You can’t just erase your files; anyone with disc recovery software on the device may retrieve a large number of them. 

However, there may be a way to speed up the procedure. If you encrypt your disc with Apple’s File Vault, you may simply wipe it.

It will not be able to restore files because the disc has already been encrypted. Note that you may accomplish this quickly if you install macOS from the Recovery disc in the following step. 

A macOS Utilities window appears when your Mac is restarted. Before installing macOS, go to Disk Utility and wipe the disc.

Clean Your Macbook

If you’re planning to sell your Mac or pass it on to a family member or acquaintance, a thorough cleaning is required. 

Cleaning your Mac’s display should be done with caution so as not to harm it, but give it a thorough cleaning to ensure it appears as nice as possible.


To recycle your macbook, you should first remove your account from it and delete all data from the device. Once this is done, contact an Apple retailer near you, since Apple has a recycling program for old Apple devices.

Furthermore, there are a lot of recyclers that specialise in recycling of e-waste. Since e-waste is a rapidly growing problem, there is a good chance that there is an e-waste recycler available in your area.

There are certain advantages associated with recycling e-waste which is crucial for the environment as well, as it helps to prevent toxic hazards, allows the reuse of certain materials, and takes care of the environment.


Does Apple erase data when recycling?

Yes, Apple erases your data when they are recycling. However, this means that any data present on your macbook that wasn’t backed up to iCloud will be deleted permanently and lost forever.

This is primarily done to ensure that none of your data gets stolen and used in a malicious way.

Therefore, it is recommended that you back up all the data present on your macbook and then bring it into an Apple retailer for recycling.

Do you get money for recycling MacBook?

Yes, you can be eligible for store credit if you recycle your MacBook. It’s simple to trade in your qualified gadget for store credit or an Apple Gift Card that you may spend at any time. 

Apple will recycle your device for free if it isn’t eligible for credit. Apple will transform it into something good for you and the environment, regardless of the model or condition.

Does Apple produce a lot of waste?

Yes, Apple electronics have been a growing contributor to the current e-waste problem. As people buy more devices, they simply discard the old ones.

Even though Apple has many initiatives that are meant to strive towards reduction of e-waste, it is simply due to the load of e-waste generated that makes it difficult.

For example, according to Apple’s Environmental Responsibility Report of 2019, although 108.5 million pounds of total waste was sent for recycling, 36.5 million pounds of waste wound up in landfills.


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