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Apple Australia smashing salvageable hardware?

updated 11:55 am EST, Fri January 16, 2009

Apple Aus. smashing gear

The Australian division of Apple has been destroying broken Macs which could nevertheless be repaired or recycled for parts, claims an individual involved in the process. An anonymous worker at a Sydney warehouse alleges that he was asked to help destroy some $200,000 worth of Apple gear, including iMacs, Xserves, MacBooks and Mac Pros, along with Mighty Mice and a copy of Final Cut Studio. The worker's crew is said to have used hammers and screwdrivers for the task, and gone to the extent of tearing up manuals. Everything, eventually, was crushed using a forklift, in response to complaints about it being visible over a dumpster's edge.

Controversially, at least some of the Macs were partially functional, able to boot up properly; printed e-mails included with the hardware revealed exchanges between Apple and service technicians, typically indicating that a client wanted a replacement instead of repair. A separate person -- working at the site for nine months -- is said to have claimed that Apple is choosing to replace hardware rather than pay for the cost of repair in China.

The request to smash the computers is believed to have come from a permanent on-site Apple representative. Apple Australia's marketing director, Rob Small, insists however that Apple does not destroy functioning computers. "We only destroy stock that's either beyond economic repair or is been deemed not fit for sale to a customer again," he comments.

Small further denies that anything is disposed of haphazardly. "Anything we recycle is done responsibly through certified recyclers. Nothing goes to landfill and we do not donate second hand products to charity or move them off-shore," he says.

Apple has previously championed its recycling efforts, noting that it increased volume by 57 percent in 2007. If accurate however, the Australian report may suggest that Apple contractors are in some cases only recycling raw materials, or ignoring official policy entirely. It is also common in the PC world for computers to be refurbished for charities.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    bullshit

    This looks like an Apple bashing article.....get a life

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    TRUTH BE TOLD

    This company is a lot more unsavory than people want to believe.

  1. analogika

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Why is this news?

    ALL multinational tech companies do this. Damaged products that haven't been sold yet must be destroyed for tax and customs purposes. If they aren't destroyed, the damage must be assessed, as must the repair cost and remaining value - for each and every product. Then every single device must be factored out of bookkeeping and customs and import duties and taxes - and exports and taxes in the country of production. And then repaired.Since this article implies that it would be much more sensible to ship the damaged goods back to China and have them repaired there - and then shipped back! - multiply the above BY THREE. It is FAR cheaper, and FAR less hassle, to just destroy everything and replace it with new products from the factory. Again: EVERY MULTINATIONAL TECH CORPORATION operates like this.-chris.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    recycling

    Looks like they are recycling aluminum to me. Nothing wrong with that.

  1. analogika

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Why is this news?

    ALL multinational tech companies do this. Damaged products that haven't been sold yet must be destroyed for tax and customs purposes.

    If they aren't destroyed, the damage must be assessed, as must the repair cost and remaining value - for each and every product. Then every single device must be factored out of bookkeeping and customs and import duties and taxes - and exports and taxes in the country of production.

    Since this article implies that it would be much more sensible to ship the damaged goods back to China and have them repaired there - and then shipped back! - multiply the above BY THREE.

    It is FAR cheaper, and FAR less hassle, to just destroy everything and replace it with new products from the factory.

    Again: EVERY MULTINATIONAL TECH CORPORATION operates like this.

    -chris.

  1. cg88

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    On the other hand...

    This story actually reminds me of something similar that Mazda did less than a year ago. A container ship bringing cars from Japan had tilted about 60 degrees to the side along with all the cars inside. Although all of the cars appeared to be fine, every single one were destroyed to avoid the public getting their hands on one just on the off chance there were problems relating to them being out at sea so long. If problems ever became from these cars, their reputation could be destroyed. (http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/29/mazda-destroys-4703.html)

    Similar thing here too - the machines were deemed beyond reasonable economic repair and were replaced. Apple is destroying them and recycling them because it's more economically feasible than parting out/repairing each unit. I'm sure many other tech/computer companies do this same thing. Nothing to see here, move along.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Recycling in Autralia

    Considering they have to send their computers to China for repair, do you really think they have the market for recycling a computer, other than the raw material, I would guess not. They may have to send these computers elsewhere for recycling, (maybe China's program isn't all that great either) and the cost in energy to ship is not worth it and they have to pay out of their pocket to do it. Remember, Autralia's Population density is only 6 per square mile (like Montana) so there may be no market to recycle computers in the country.

    Also $200,000 worth of Macs is like 50-60 computers at most....

    This is just someone trying to get 15 minutes of fame.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Corporate culture...

    ...has been likened to a sociopath in the movie 'The Corporation' - such goals are argued counterproductive to a healthy community... 'Who killed the electric car' is even more blatant in what is wrong with the long term sustainability (stupidity?) of American Capitalism (this should get some flames! :)

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5871495968130273402

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    something fishy...

    ...is it just me or is there something a bit odd looking about the way the laptop is balanced on the top of the pile? Can't help feeling there's something a bit contrived about this photograph. I could gently stack a whole load of perfectly good stuff in a skip for the sake of a photograph... and then take it out again!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -12

    Hey Bobolicious

    Bobolicious,

    STOP posting the same garbage link over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    I'm tired of seeing your mindless garbage on this sit. GET A LIFE Bobolicious.

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