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From iPod to iWaste :: Apple battery policy rotten to the core?

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  • RemyC
    From: http://www.nytimes.com Environmentalists Protest Apple s IWaste By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS January 13, 2005 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple Computer Corp. has
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2005

      Environmentalists Protest Apple's 'IWaste'

      January 13, 2005

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple Computer Corp. has become the darling of the
      technology sector for its wildly popular digital music player. But scorching
      iPod sales have also made it the target of an aggressive environmental
      coalition, which is trashing Apple as rotten to the core.

      Environmentalists with the Computer TakeBack Campaign are planning a
      yearlong campaign to protest Apple's lackluster recycling efforts. Despite
      drizzle on Tuesday at the annual Macworld Conference & Expo, activists
      passed out leaflets and erected a giant banner proclaiming, ``from iPod to

      The advocacy group, which last year badgered Dell Inc. until it
      significantly bolstered its recycling initiatives, plans protests at Apple's
      Cupertino, Calif., headquarters throughout 2005, a letter-writing and e-mail
      campaign, and other attacks against the maker of Macintosh computers.

      Environmentalists said they're targeting Apple because the hardware and
      software company makes it difficult to replace batteries in its digital
      music players, and it charges many consumers $30 to recycle their unused or
      broken computers and laptops.

      ``We know consumers won't pay 30 bucks to get rid of something they think is
      junk,'' said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Austin, Texas-based
      Texas Campaign for the Environment.

      ``Apple can do a lot better -- they're lagging way behind Dell and
      Hewlett-Packard. ``Now they need to take the next step and really 'think
      different,''' Schneider said, playing off Apple's advertising slogan.

      Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said Tuesday the company would not comment on
      the environmental crusade. On Thursday, Apple promised to join eBay Inc. and
      Intel Corp., which launched an informational Web site to help motivate
      Americans to resell, donate or recycle used gadgets.

      Apple doesn't charge consumers to recycle outdated electronics in Japan,
      Europe, Taiwan and South Korea, but environmentalists say the company is a
      significant contributor to the growing problem of ``e-waste'' in the United

      U.S. consumers retire or replace roughly 133,000 personal computers per day,
      according to research firm Gartner Inc. According to a study commissioned by
      San Jose, Calif.-based Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, roughly half of all
      U.S. households have working but unused consumer electronics products.
      Roughly 400 million gizmos will be thrown out by 2010.

      Protesters said the popularity of the iPod and iPod Mini -- as well as more
      affordable gadgets such as the $99 iPod Shuffle, which debuted Tuesday --
      make Apple an obvious target for environmentalists' scorn.

      Apple sold 4.5 million iPods in the fourth quarter and more than 10 million
      since their debut in 2001. During the 2004 holiday season, three of the top
      five consumer electronics sold on Amazon.com were Apple products.

      The falling price and diminutive size of iPods -- including the Shuffle,
      which weighs less than an ounce and is smaller than a pack of gum --
      promotes the notion that they're disposable, said Mamta Khanna, program
      manager for Oakland, Calif.-based Center for Environmental Health.

      ``People think you can just trash these things,'' Khanna said. ``No one's
      thinking about where they end up.''

      On the Net:

      General inquiries may be sent to
      info@ computertakeback.com
      P.O. Box 10009
      Eugene, Oregon 97440
      (541) 302-3344

      Media inquiries should be directed to:
      Ted Smith - Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition,
      (408) 287-6707
      Robin Schneider - Texas Campaign for the Environment;
      (512) 326-5655
      or media@ computertakeback.com.

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