Apple Inc. plans to collect and recycle computers that are at least 25 years old, as it seeks to reduce the amount of recycling required to meet its environmental goals, according to people familiar with the matter.
The technology giant has long touted its recycling efforts, including the $2 billion Apple Reuse Program, which offers cash payments to companies that recycle computers, mobile devices and other materials that are no longer needed by businesses.
But the program has not attracted as much attention because of the costs associated with disposing of old computers and devices.
The company plans to begin collecting computers that it deems not suitable for recycling this year, a person familiar with Apple’s recycling strategy said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to discuss the program publicly.
Apple has about 1,500 computers in its recycling program, and it expects to collect more this year than it does in all of 2015, the person said.
Apple has been working on the program since late last year, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the program.
Apple recycles the old computers, and the company will not collect them until they are no more than five years old and are no larger than 3.5 pounds, the individual said.
In addition to the cash payments, Apple also will use the money to pay for recycling and replacement parts, the company said in a statement.
Apple also is in the process of making improvements to its recycling infrastructure and will begin doing so by the end of next year, the statement said.
The move comes at a time when companies are looking to recycle their old technology in order to meet new environmental standards.
Apple and other tech companies have long struggled with the environmental impact of their products, and some companies are taking advantage of the fact that older technology is less expensive to recycle.
For example, Microsoft Corp. began accepting computers that were 30 years old or older in December, a year after it announced it would stop using old computers to recycle its hardware.
And Google Inc. last month started using recycled old tablets for its recycling programs.
Apple’s recycling program is similar to the one offered by Amazon.com Inc. Amazon has been collecting computers at its stores for more than a decade, and this year it began accepting old tablets at its warehouses.
In addition, the program also includes a credit for the money it collects to Apple, according the person familiar.
Apple is also planning to expand its recycling facility at its Mac factory in Fremont, Calif., to provide more space to more employees.
The Apple Recycle Program also includes other programs to help companies reuse older computers.
The program allows companies to donate a computer, for example, to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the United Nations Environment Program.
Apple recently started giving out cash rewards to companies who recycle their computers.
A handful of companies have also given cash to organizations that recycle older computers, the same person said, adding that Apple is planning to begin accepting cash rewards in the coming months.
Apple started accepting cash payments for its Recycle Rewards program in December 2015, but the company has since stopped accepting cash, the people familiar said.
Apple RecyclePoints, the Apple Receive Rewards program, is a program that provides cash rewards for companies that donate their old computers.
Apple also plans to take part in a pilot program in which companies that want to donate older computers or devices to the program will receive cash rewards instead of credit, the two people said.
In the future, Apple plans on introducing a similar program that will allow companies to recycle and resell old technology, according a person with knowledge of the matter who was also not authorized for speaking publicly.