10 Ways to Recycle Old Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple Watch


The average iPhone will last three years or so before software is no longer able to keep up and the battery begins to fail. There are quite a few services out there to send the product in or turn it in in person, such as at an Apple store.

Some devices can be exchanged for cash or a gift card, and some can simply be recycled. Even if you don’t get cash or a gift card, it is important to find a place to recycle properly. This article will cover ten great services to recycle old Macs and Apple devices – hopefully for some cash.

1. Apple’s Renew and Recycling Program


Through the Apple Renew and Recycle program, you can trade in your aging device for an Apple Store gift card to put towards a new device or accessories. To get started with the process, you will have to answer a few questions regarding your device before an offer will be presented.

2. eBay Valet


eBay has always been a go-to spot on the Web for used electronics and the like. If you do not have the time or know-how to list them yourself, you can always send your device to eBay Valet where photos will be professionally taken and where it will be listed on your behalf. In turn, you will receive a large portion of the final sale. In fact, for an item that sells for over $500, you will earn 80% of the sell price.

3. Gazelle

Gazelle will quote you an offer for your device online and then ship you a prepaid box. Place your restored device into the box and ship it off! Within a couple of weeks you will receive cash. In addition to selling, you can also buy used devices right from Gazelle.

4. uSell

uSell specializes particularly in buying your broken device to use for parts. If you are just trying to recover some quick cash from an old device gathering dust in a drawer, look no further!

5. Facebook Marketplace


Use the Facebook Marketplace to list your devices and sell directly to consumers. This is by far one of the easiest ways to sell in your local area and maintain 100% of the profits. Downsides include having to meet potential buyers and having to go through the process of setting up and maintaining a listing yourself.

6. Swappa

On Swappa you can browse products based on the model and its overall quality. This, in turn, makes it easy to get started with selling your own items and giving them a proper categorization. Before even beginning the selling process, you can view the going rate for each device based on carrier and other qualifiers.

7. SellYourMac

What could be a better place to sell your Mac than SellYourMac.com? Get a quote on your device, ship it in with a prepaid label, and get paid over services like Paypal. It is straightforward and to the point, as it should be!

8. Cash for Your Mac


Cash for Your Mac features a simple interface for selecting your product and answering a few questions about it. Once this is done, a cash offer will be locked in, which is then valid for 30 days.

9. Gamestop


Take your device up to the nearest Gamestop for a quick inspection and quote. While these quotes may not be the highest around, it is definitely one of the quicker ways available for making some cash off of your old device.

10. Nextworth

Click a device category in Nextworth and follow the prompts to find the device’s value. Then ship with a prepaid label and receive payment via PayPal or check.


While you could simply drop off your used electronics at the nearest recycling location, there sure are a plethora of options out there to earn a bit of store credit or even cash back for your used list. Of the services listed, which have you had the best luck and return with? Leave us a comment down below.

This article was first published in Aug 2011 and was updated in Oct 2017.

Corbin Telligman Corbin Telligman

I'm a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.


  1. What about promoting CONSERVATION by restoring what is for most people a VERY COSTLY DEVICE that would work perfectly well if it wasn’t rendered useless by software ‘upgrades’? It’s bad enough that Apple makes it impossible for the user to replace the battery, without chiming in for the industry that they can be turned in for cash on the purchase of a new device with little, if any, real added value!

    When are people going to realize the reason their device slows down over time has NOTHING to do with hardware and EVERYTHING to do with the software ‘updates’ and the other junk that the provider forces on them without their consent? I have a 4.5 year old device that works better than when I got it because I TOOK POSSESSION OF IT and PREVENT the so-called ‘updates’ that break the devices of those who are too scared to stand up for their rights!

    So please DON’T ENCOURAGE THE WASTE GAME with lame, trendy ‘recycling’ suggestions, it only serves the interests of the profiteers… Smartphone technology has matured in the last 5 years to the point where most people don’t NEED a new device every three years! Replacing the battery (I hope you didn’t become a slave to Apple by purchasing a phone you can’t replace the battery out of, but it’s reasonably doable in most shops) and upgrading your external memory card (I hope you were smart enough to get a device that you can expand the memory with your needs) and periodically reloading the operating system from a clean image, is, after ‘rooting’ (aka taking possession of your own device) all you need to keep your device running in tip top shape for many years to come!

    I can’t fathom how we, as a society came to accept that such outrageously expensive devices have a lifespan of only 3 years, when they could easily last, with proper maintenance, double or triple that.

    With its do-gooder ‘recycling’ recommendations this article does disservice to consumers and serves only to encourage them to throw away and make planned obsolescence acceptable when they could easily make their devices work as well as new for many more years if they only dared to take full ownership of them.

    Sorry if I came on as harsh – I understand your intentions are good and you made a good effort writing this article for the general public – but this needed to be said, it’s high time people realized they have CHOICE and that it’s up to THEM to accept planned obsolescence or not!

    1. I glad you said this, and then they give a small amount money that can’t purchase the new equipment because they don’t even give you half the purchase price.

  2. You’ll probably be happy to hear that you don’t have to recycle old tablets. And honestly, it’s a waste if you recycle it before exploring more options. If you’re gonna recycle at least see what you can do about donating it first. Computers With Causes has a good program where they will accept first gen ipads. Even the ones that have cracked screens. They fix them up and donate them back to the communities they serve. www.computerswithcauses.org

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