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San Francisco To Stop Buying Apple Computers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.

Earth 392

New submitter djnanite writes "Following on from the story that Apple has exited the 'Green Hardware' certification program, the BBC reports that City officials in San Francisco plan to block local government agencies from buying new Apple's Macintosh computers. Will they be the first of many, or will cheaper products override people's conscience? 'Other CIOs in government and educational institutions, where Apple has a strong presence, could find themselves asked to drop MacBooks and iMacs. The federal government, for example, requires 95% of its laptops and desktops be EPEAT-certified.' Apple defended the move by saying their products are environmentally superior in areas not measured by EPEAT."

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Hmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611453)

The beginning of the end for Apple

Ohhh shiny (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611457)

Apple defended the move by saying their products are environmentally superior in areas not measured by EPEAT."

They must mean those superior shiny rounded rectangular areas.

Re:Ohhh shiny (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611767)

EPEAT doesn't have a "magicalness" rating.

Re:Ohhh shiny (5, Funny)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612099)

Their coolness reduces global warming.

Re:Ohhh shiny (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612117)

Apple,
Design is EVERYTHING.

Looks pretty on the desk
looks pretty on your lap
looks pretty in your pocket

now you get to see it in one piece looking pretty in the dump too.

False Dillema (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611463)

"Will they be the first of many, or will cheaper products override people's conscience?"

Considering Apple computers are more expensive than certified non-Apple computers; I think it is safe to say whether you are environmentally conscious or a bean counter the choice is definitely not new apple products.

Re:False Dillema (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611581)

And if you have to do thousands of repairs* because you have tens of thousands of computers the cost of repairs is very much a big deal.

*that isn't a criticism of apple, stuff breaks, usually due to stupid end users, but if you have enough computers a lot of things will break over the lifetime. That's what keeps half of the /. crowd employed.

Re:False Dillema (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611683)

and has there been a study if it's cheaper with apple or not? apple repairs can be darn expensive, unless you plan on using the applecare insurance card - in which case you should compare it with buying insurance with the non-apple pc too.

Re:False Dillema (1, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612177)

and has there been a study if it's cheaper with apple or not? apple repairs can be darn expensive, unless you plan on using the applecare insurance card - in which case you should compare it with buying insurance with the non-apple pc too.

Who buys a computer without a warranty that covers it's expected usage period? In most European countries computer vendors are required by law to offer at least a two year warranty, some offer more than required as a sales incentive. I usually sell my laptops no more than a year after the legally required warranty expires. The bargain hunters who buy them know the risks they are taking, laptop and tablet repairs are always expensive to the point of being uneconomial. But even if the warranty has expired computer repairs are covered by most decent household insurance policies. My insurance replaced a broken iPod and a defective display on an out-of-warranty MacBook. If you skimped on household insurance as well as buying a computer that isn't covered by a warranty you are up a creek without a paddle when your device breaks down.

Re:False Dillema (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611703)

A non-Apple computer with a warranty is still cheaper than an Apple.

Re:False Dillema (5, Funny)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611949)

Boy, you sure have very expensive fruit over there.

Re:False Dillema (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612047)

A non-Apple computer with a warranty is still cheaper than an Apple.

Thank you captain obvious for that stunning insight. You will always be able to find somebody who sells computers at lower prices than Apple, Lenovo, HP, Dell ... If cheaper was always better we'd all be driving Kias and flying Ryan Air. Kias are cheap cheerful and they come with a 10 year warrany and Ryan Air offers rock bottom ticket prices. And yes I also know the Kia warrantee program has been widely lambasted for it's uselessness and that Ryan Air has become gods gift to European standup commedians, especially after Ryan Air wanted to eliminate aircraft toilets and offer 'standing seats' for ultra thrifty passengers. That's kind of the point, you get what you pay for.

Re:False Dillema (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612155)

You're talking about outliers. The one you replied to was talking in general. What he said holds in general for most everyday computers on the market and not just bamboo knockoffs. You can easily buy a really nice computer with a warranty for the money you'd use on a standard iTard w/o applecare.

Re:False Dillema (5, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611897)

In my experience Apple gear is no more nor less likely to break than other good-quality stuff. Most of the internal components are the same after all. But the recent stuff is harder to repair of course; significantly more so than Lenovo for instance. Have to love a company that actually puts disassembly and repair manuals for their products on the web for anybody to view.

Re:False Dillema (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612193)

In my experience apple stuff has lasted longer and it "just works" historically. I regularly use Win/Pc, *nix/PC, and Mac products and my WinPC are the most fragile and obsolete the quickest. The same PC with Linux is not as obsolete as quickly but does tend to break more often physically. Specifically in the optical drive and display areas (not physical cracking of the display but graphics cards, connectors, screen problems).

All of this was true until recently.Apple has gone too far with the inability to repair. I don't require upgradeability (I tend to max out machines when I buy them anyway) but not being able to repair it on my own is maddening. Especially if it means I have to go to the so-called Genius bar where a clueless college student tries to diagnose a machine he doesn't understand while devaluing the world genius beyond recognition. That coupled with the software cancer that is Lion means I'm off of Apple laptops for now. Though I admit I'm struggling to find a replacement that is as good for my uses. Lion was such a bad install that it caused issues on two of my Macs and made me wonder if I was running MacOS Vista (or ME for you older guys) Edition. If you can do enough things wrong to drive me (largely an Apple fanboy minus the irrational ranting and refusal to accept reality when presented with facts) away you really need to look at your product strategy because it's not headed in a good direction.

Re:False Dillema (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612251)

Lenovo who only allows whitelisted wifi cards in their laptops? Who actually put in locks in the BIOS so that you cannot even boot with it? Fuck Lenovo in the ass. What a worthless shitty company.

Re:False Dillema (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612003)

This will just save money, period. I was actually at a local arts and crafts school doing some on the job training as an it-monkey... there were a lot of PCs and there were a lot of Macs, but almost everything was running Windows 7. Why? It's what the users wanted and partly because Windows was what was running on local servers. I bet it's the same in similar institutions and government agencies.

conscience? (0, Redundant)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611477)

Will they be the first of many, or will cheaper products override people's conscience?

San Francisco can do whatever they want, but I sure don't feel any pain of conscience over EPEAT. Apple products are recyclable.

I also don't see what this has to do with 'cheaper.' Apple products may be worth the higher price, but they are not the cheap option.

Re:conscience? (5, Insightful)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611509)

If you cannot disassemble them to separate the components, then they are not recyclable. Thats the big issue here: Apple is now making their products so it is impossible to taking it apart by gluing dissimilar components together.

Re:conscience? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611529)

They can still be recycled. They might not be repaired or refurbished, but recycled, sure.

I brought several P3 and P4 machines to my recycling center. They probably weren't resold, but I'm pretty sure they got recycled.

But it's kind of a dick move from Apple,.

Re:conscience? (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611637)

The deal with the glue is that it makes the recycling effort cost prohibitive, and removes the already small margin for fiscal incentive for said recycling. The glued features cannot be easily seperated, increasing the cost to recycle above a critical metric.

Apple says it won't stop this practice, because finding an alternative means they would have to make thicker devices, or devices more likely to come apart on their own.

The consequence of this decision is that they are no longer EPEAT certified, and now their products are less salable.

What is so hard to comprehend here?

Re:conscience? (1, Interesting)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611725)

Most recycling starts out cost prohibitive because it's inefficient. The profits come from subsidy. The glue makes it even more inefficient, and so the required subsidy is bigger if they're going to bother.

Re:conscience? (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611731)

Since AppleCare handles the batteries as well, and Apple will replace them for $200, it stands to reason that Apple has a way to properly remove the batteries. Probably a solvent of some kind that is specific to the glue they use.

Re:conscience? (4, Informative)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611811)

They'll just replace your laptop.

I went to an Apple store the other day to replace my now dead battery out of my iPhone 3GS. I left with a brand new iPhone 3GS (or refurbished, I don't know, but not the unit I walked in with).

Re:conscience? (2)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612011)

And that 3GS will later be repaired, refurbished, then either resold or given to another customer like yourself.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612103)

That's what the Genius told you. And you can believe him. We're certain Apple just doesn't landfill that junk in North Vietnam because they are environmentally certified.

Re:conscience? (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612145)

...they'll do it in China, where labor costs are low and the special solvents aren't banned yet.

Re:conscience? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612263)

Speaking as one who has seen Apple refurb lines at Foxconn in Shenzhen, this is correct. They'll reuse the main board and the display (if the backlight still meets the spec), but not the case or the external connectors. They don't want any visible wear on a refurb unit.

Re:conscience? (4, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612289)

According to an AC comment on the previous discussion about this by someone who claimed to have access to their internal servicing documents, Apple just replaces the whole keyboard, upper case and battery assembly on the new Macbook Pro with Retina Display as a single unit. Apparently they can't unglue the batteries either.

Re:conscience? (5, Interesting)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611837)

On the flip side, the significantly larger quantities of aluminum (as opposed to plastic) probably offset the glue removal in the cost balance equation.

EPEAT defines specific processes for recycling and doesn't acknowledge other alternatives or new technologies. Even with the glue, the brand new Macbook Pro I'm typing on right now is more recyclable than any laptop which uses screws to attach batteries to the chasis.

LEED (green building construction) is a much better model for certifications like this because it's flexible. No one single "dirty" technique would cost you certification. Instead, you earn points for doing a myriad of different things for cumulative score used for certification.

Adhering to strictly-defined standards results in stagnant products and services, since the government is rarely pressured to update their certification requirements.

Actually, I think it has more to do with Foxconn (2, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612141)

The June 2012 changes to the EPAT verification criteria require them to permit on-site compliance audits by third parties.

I'm thinking someone with a long history of working for Samsung has enough familiarity with the electronics industry to be a qualified third party auditor, then quit the auditing company and go back to work for Samsung.

This seems to be an attempt to look in Apple's manufacturing shorts to see how their assembly lines are run.

Oh my god (4, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611709)

Can people really be this pig ignorant about what recycling entails?

Recycling is NOT dumping it in a landfill, burning it OR bringing it to a recycling center. It is about removing materials requiring special handling and separating a product into distinct materials so those materials can be re-used.

For metal, this is easy. You can simply take a complete car, grind it up, melt and scoop all the bits non-metal. You have fully recycled the metal... but still, burning all that plastic, battery acid, glass is a bit nasty.

You COULD use a magnet to separate the metal from the rest but not all metals are magnetic and this will STILL leave you with a mess of non-metal that would take a legion to sort by hand.

So, how do you REALLY recycle a car? You take it apart. You remove the plastic bumper and put it on the pile with other plastic parts that you know are the same type of plastic because it is stamped on the part. Same types of plastics can be for better recycled then a pile of all sorts combined. This goes so far that for instance plastic bottles can be shredded and just melted into new ones. Failed bottles at production go right back into the process.

Once you separated all the different materials, you can re-use them or dispose of them in a safe manner. But the separation must be relatively easy OR the costs just sky-rocket. Taking of a bumper is easy especially if you don't have to care about damage. Separating two bonded plates, not so much.

A prime example of this is in electricity cables. Copper is expensive enough to make recycling worth while but separating it from the plastic surrounding it, is near impossible. What is done instead in many places is that the plastic is burned off. A very polluting process and not the idea behind recycling at all.

Now Apples devices are hard to take apart. If a screen can't be screwed open, the screen can't be separated from the shell, meaning it has to be shredded instead. You can still reclaim some materials but not as easily as with a screw driver.

The above poster seems to think that recycling means re-using working parts or re-selling the entire device. This is a FORM of recycling but NOT what this article is about. In the end, after re-selling the device will either end up in a landfill, be dumped OR be taken apart. The first two are wasteful, the second becomes more costly when the separate materials are harder to separate. Apple has basically said, we don't give a fuck about the environment and try to hide it by saying they are better but in areas nobody measures. Well, I am a better sportsman then anyone at the Olympics, just not in any Olympic sport.

Re:Oh my god (4, Interesting)

LourensV (856614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612025)

You COULD use a magnet to separate the metal from the rest but not all metals are magnetic and this will STILL leave you with a mess of non-metal that would take a legion to sort by hand.

I wholly agree with your post, but I have one addition/correction. It is in fact possible to separate out non-magnetic metals from the waste stream (or in fact anything that conducts), using a clever device called an eddy current separator [wikipedia.org] . It uses a varying magnetic field to induct an eddy current in any conducting bits of trash, which in turn creates an EM field. The two fields repel, and the conductive part is flung away from the non-conductive thrash. Here's [walkermagnet.com] a link to a company that makes them with a bit more explanation.

Re:Oh my god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612049)

No, they REALLY do actually just grind up entire cars and separate out the metals and plastics and other things. Perhaps after removing the battery and tyres, but not always.

The plastics typically just get used in low quality plastics or even things like road base, because it's not worth sorting out further.

Metals which are not magnetic are typically sorted by inducing eddy currents in them.

Re:Oh my god (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612063)

For metal, this is easy. You can simply take a complete car, grind it up, melt and scoop all the bits non-metal. You have fully recycled the metal... but still, burning all that plastic, battery acid, glass is a bit nasty.

Just FYI, this is what we used to do when I worked in a steel mill some 30 years ago. Our primary source of material was cars, not ore. Cars came straight from wrecking yards after they'd picked out all the bits they could sell. No batteries. No glass. No tires. Most all the plastics and some upholstery intact, though of course there was not nearly the same % of plastic used now.

We melted this down. Smoke went into the 'bag house' which was a lot of very large, tall, filter bags. Slag got poured off. Both went to a series of settling ponds. Sludge got dredged out and I don't recall where it went. Water was carefully checked before return to Lake Ontario. Cleaner than what we got out at the time. We were monitored for that.

Steel was made into rebar and angle iron mostly. Some custom billets for customers like GM that cast their own parts.

Very little other than cars and similar scrap went into the steel. Few bags of carbon per melt, that sort of thing. We weren't "recyclers". This was a normal steel industry practice since at least the sixties already.

Oh, and cars were not 'ground up' for this. Just crushed for transport. Melts fine like that.

"Plastic is burned off" (4, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612283)

High temperature pyrolysis is your friend here. The waste is indeed heated until all the plastic has volatilised, but halogens are removed, dust is collected, and carbon dioxide and water comes out of the pipe. Paint jigs are usually cleaned this way. It will remove the insulation from copper wires and the filler from around magnesium alloy or aluminum frames.

As for car batteries, I believe they are about 95% recyclable. Although sulfuric acid is nasty stuff, it is easy to pour off and treat. In fact, most liquid handling is very easy with well established procedures. Years ago the company I worked for acquired a plating plant (tanks of alkali, nickel and chrome salts, cyanides, concentrated sulfuric acid, you name it). Our insurers promptly cancelled our insurance. The local safety executive recommended us to a specialist insurer, who told us that, though many insurance companies were frightened of plating plants, they actually have an excellent safety record and rarely result in insurance claims. It is a matter of sticking to well-established procedures. There is no reason at all why recycling plants should not be the same.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611533)

If you cannot disassemble them to separate the components, then they are not recyclable.

Disassembling for service and dismantling for recycling are not the same thing.

Re:conscience? (3, Insightful)

Rakshasa-sensei (533725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611567)

If it is impossible to take apart the retina MBP, how are they able to offer battery replacement service?

I guess they use magic or something, and recyclers are normal people so they are unable to tear apart the new MBP's.

Re:conscience? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611675)

Replacing the Retina batteries involves the replacement of the enclosure as well (source : iFixit).

Captcha : poorer ...

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611739)

If it is impossible to take apart the retina MBP, how are they able to offer battery replacement service?

I guess they use magic or something, and recyclers are normal people so they are unable to tear apart the new MBP's.

they replace the machine itself instead possibly?
transfer data across to a new one - send old one to be scrapped.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611569)

What he meant is apple products have "high resale value"

Re:conscience? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611819)

If you cannot disassemble them to separate the components, then they are not recyclable. Thats the big issue here: Apple is now making their products so it is impossible to taking it apart by gluing dissimilar components together.

You use the word "impossible" very lightly. If you were working for the recycler who gets a few hundred thousand Apple laptops for recycling, and your boss would tell you to figure out how to recycle them, would you say "its impossible"? I think your boss would say "if it is impossible for you, I'll hire someone who can figure it out".

Re:conscience? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611911)

Perhaps you use the word "impossible" in a childishly literal sense.

If my boss came up to me and told me to work out how to recycle them, and I found out that I could not do it within his financial requirements, I would say "it's impossible," the obvious implication being "...at this cost."

Also, the word are you looking for is "it's," not "its." The apostrophe indicates a missing letter, in this case another i. "Its" is possessive.

Re:conscience? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611521)

San Francisco can do whatever they want, but I sure don't feel any pain of conscience over EPEAT. Apple products are recyclable.

Do you even know anything about this? Do you now what EPEAT is and why Apple is no longer certified? It's because binding the batteries to the aluminium means you can't recycle them! How much more of an apologist could you be?!

Re:conscience? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611545)

>It's because binding the batteries to the aluminium means you can't recycle them!

Sure you can. Glue melts, and it can also be broken with a putty knife. Scrape the batteries off, melt down the aluminum case, and recycle the lithium in the batteries the same way you do with A-cell lithium batteries.

> How much more of an apologist could you be?!

How much more of an ignoramus could YOU be?

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611597)

the batteries are molded as part of the panel.. they can't be separated..

Re:conscience? (1, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611849)

Wow, you seriously know nothing about the current state of these products. It is prohibitively expensive to separate the materials now. Sure it's possible, but it's not cost effective anymore. This is the whole reason Apple left the initiative. They recognize their machines can't be easily recycled anymore and they're perfectly fine with this shit finding its way into landfills if it means their pretty hardware can be even prettier.

Re:conscience? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611925)

>Wow, you seriously know nothing about the current state of these products.

Your username is appropriate, because you're talking out of your ass.

> It is prohibitively expensive to separate the materials now.

No, it's not. You can't separate them with a screwdriver (well, I guess you could with a really wide screwdriver), but that doesn't make them "prohibitively expensive" to separate.

>. This is the whole reason Apple left the initiative.

They left the program because it's out of date, and doesn't make sense given today's superior manufacturing methods.

>They recognize their machines can't be easily recycled anymore

So that's why they won't take them back from you for recycling, right? Oh wait! They DO take them back for recycling, so they obviously don't find that cost-prohibitive to do. Gee, looks like you're completely clueless.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612067)

Masterfully spoken like someone who has drank far too much of the kool-aid. It's only a matter of time before Jobs' distortion field finally wears off. I wager it will feel something like coming out of a coma.

Although Apple will take them back, my response is (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612247)

...how generous of them to take away my very expensive hardware (that would have otherwise only needed minor repair) in exchange for a 10% discount on an iPod. /sarcasm

This move by Apple shows they no longer have any shred of conscience post-Jobs and that is the final straw for me. The very minimum I would expect from a corp trying to be responsible in conjunction with a move like this would be to extend the warranty options (by years) over what is currently available through Applecare. If you think that is infeasible with portable devices, you may be right. But that would also mean Apple's new policy is unworkable as well.

Re:conscience? (1, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611561)

It is possible to remove a glued on component. Glue does not actually form an eternal bond.

Re:conscience? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611589)

What? Apple's using inferior glue? Why, that's outrageous! Demand GNLUE, the free adhesive that will liberate us all from Apple's proprietary, impermanent adhesives!

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611759)

It is possible to remove a glued on component. Glue does not actually form an eternal bond.

No it doesn't but the cost associated with glue removal is prohibitive if your just salvaging these units for their scrap value. Due to the volatile nature of Li batteries you have to use specific solvents to remove the glue (for bulk salvage operations). Most of these solvents are fairly toxic and not cheap. The cost becomes prohibitive. You will have to pay to have the units recycled, and to top it off if your company isn't careful it could be enough to cost you some of your 'green points'.

Side note, this design decision by Apple has cost them a large amount of sales from my organization. We've been considering what to do about the ~2000 older macbooks we have in circulation. We were anticipating upgrading to the newer retina display MBPs, but the IT division has managed to convince our CIO and CFO not to. Apple lost about 1000 in guaranteed sales and another ~1000 in potential sales.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611883)

>the cost associated with glue removal is prohibitive if your just salvaging these units for their scrap value.

And I'm sure you have the figures to back up this claim, right? Do the words "putty knife" or "heat gun" mean anything to you?

>Apple lost about 1000 in guaranteed sales and another ~1000 in potential sales.

Considering that they can't keep the new MBPs in stock, I somehow don't think they're sweating the loss of two thousand fictitious units that some guy on /. claims he was going to buy.

Re:conscience? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611915)

Do the words "hazmat", and "lawsuit" mean anything?

Lion battery packs are sensitive to heat and rupture. Manhandling with a putty knife greatly increases the risk of rupturing the battery, which increases the risk that process employees will come into contact with dangerous lithium salts. Heating the pack sufficiently to dislodge the glue means heating the pack above the electrolyte boiling temp, and potentially exploding the battery, or otherwise destabilizing the cell in a dangerous way.

Either practice opens the door to litigation.

Its just better if apple has more forethought on their PLM strategy. (Product Lifecycle Managment.) They keep thir certifications, recycling plants make money, and recycled materials handlers don't get exposed to nasty things and sue people. Win, win, win.

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611997)

You know precisely squat on this subject. Apple will recycle any Apple product that you turn in, and they obviously know more than you do about what it costs.

Re:conscience? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612101)

But then they'd have to make their products a couple of millimeters thicker. Such a proposal is anathema to Apple. This is the company that recently dropped ethernet ports from their new laptop models just so they could make them thinner than the height of an RJ45. Even worse, if they didn't glue everything together, unauthorised people like the product owners may be able to get inside and corrupt Apple's purity of design with repairs and upgrades!

Re:conscience? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612233)

Heaven forbid somebody replace their stock 500gb drive with a 1.5TB one!

Re:conscience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612265)

...unauthorised people like the humble product users may be able to get inside and corrupt Apple's purity of design with repairs and upgrades!

FTFY. Apple owns everything, we only happy to pay them money for the privilege of using their products. "Owner" is such a 20-th century term!

Re:conscience? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611823)

It is possible to remove a glued on component. Glue does not actually form an eternal bond.

Yes it is possible, but only if said component has rounded corners!

Well (4, Interesting)

LiroXIV (2362610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611479)

Environmentally superior = You don't have to repair it (cause you can't)! Just buy a new one!

Who the eff cares? (0)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611487)

Seriously? Are people around the world basing their IT decisions on what the City of San Francisco does? Does the City of San Francisco's hardware purchases make a significant impact on Apple's bottom line?

What a waste of bandwidth.

Re:Who the eff cares? (5, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611499)

Are people around the world basing their IT decisions on what the City of San Francisco does?

Yes, we're planning to incarcerate our network security guy in Q4.

Re:Who the eff cares? (4, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611563)

Because a city government choosing to avoid a particular tech product for environmental reasons is news for nerds AND news that matters? It is a rebuke of Apple's move, one that might be repeated in other cities across the US. It is also interesting because it represents an opportunity to get linux into government offices. If Apple wants to avoid the official certification, then there is room for competition. As an added bonus, less tax dollars spent on hardware.

Re:Who the eff cares? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611705)

Just how many opportunities does Linux need? Get off Torvalds dick

Re:Who the eff cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611919)

You may have been marked a Troll, but it made me laugh. :) How many opportunities indeed :D

Yes... (5, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611607)

Disclaimer: I don't live there (and my relatives who did have moved).

San Francisco does today what the more advanced parts of the developed world will do tomorrow. It is enormously influential. Its geography is a roll call of large parts of the US computer industry. The first development system I ever used came from Marin County, the second operating system from a place called Berkeley, and much of what has followed has come from Cupertino or Palo Alto. And a slap from the City Council for the largest corporation in the area will play well with the residents.

Re:Yes... (0)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611737)

San Francisco does today what the more advanced parts of the developed world will do tomorrow.

Now there's a depressing thought.

Re:Yes... (1)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611955)

San Francisco does today what the more advanced parts of the developed world will do tomorrow.

Nonsense, that kind of thing has been popular since the ancient Greeks. Already happening all the over the world and we need to accept it as part of the rich diversity of human culture.

Re:Who the eff cares? (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611643)

probably not because apple products amount to less than 2% of SF government computers.

Re:Who the eff cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611815)

source please :)

muhahaha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611495)

Finally. Cheaper and open is better.

I wonder about BYOD (5, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611515)

As more government and private organisations move to BYOD, where there is less control over these purchasing decisions I wonder if BYOD policies will also be updated to exclude employee's using devices that aren't adhering to EPEAT, I doubt it.

When I first heard this decision I just wondered if Apple were again abandoning the Enterprise market, because they can just attack the consumer market, which is now well and truly making inroads into Enterprise IT.

WHA !! YO CAN' T GET MORE GAY THAN APPLE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611535)

That's like not wearing short pants !! Not wearing an earring !! Not riding a Harley !! Not wearing JP 3-prong crown leathers !! Not having a Barney Frank poster on your entry wall !! Something just is not right here !! Not right at all !! You can't be more Gay if you wear Apple !! Not wearing Apple ?? That's just not right !!

This is the top 5% the Occupy folks protest about! (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611541)

The federal government, for example, requires 95% of its laptops and desktops be EPEAT-certified.

So, only the top 5% elite of government folks get Apples, and the other 95% normal folks just get inferior, non-cool and non-chic EPEAT made of unreliable biodegradable materials that dissolve in the rain! This just isn't fair! Why should only the top 5% get Apples!

Occupy the federal government!

Wait... (1, Interesting)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611565)

You're implying that Apple are the cheaper products?...

This is blindingly obvious (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611573)

Or obliviously blinding? (Gotta be one of the two! :D )

Anyway, the deal is that apple is used to living in the reality distortion bubble.

The reality that their design choices have political consequences, and that these consequences should and will have effects on the salability of their offerings is not respected, because they are used to altered reality where their design choices are fawned over and lauded as innovative and amazing.

In this case, we have a clearly foolish decision (ignore the EPEAT requirements for service and recycling), so that they can enforce an ideological position (our way is best, and we won't compromise. You should just change your requirements, because our products are just so awesome that they floor the competiton in every imaginable metric, including environmental friendliness!) that is sure to come back to haunt them. (Strict fed reqs regarding EPEAT compliance means no apple products purchased, and existing ones are phased out for compliant replacements.)

I am actually enjoying the spectacle of reality creeping into the fantasyland antics at apple. Hopefully they will learn their lesson that projecting a false reality hs consequences that they can't just wish away, and come away wiser for it.

Re:This is blindingly obvious (0, Troll)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611689)

Yes, clearly bureaucrats make better design decisions than actual engineers. Apple is the one in the distortion field, not you.

Re:This is blindingly obvious (4, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611707)

Not exactly.

The issue here is that in order for a recycling program to be effective, it has to be sufficiently easy for things to be recycled, that there is a financial benefit for said recycling. Otherwise, recycling has no incentive.

The design choices at apple make it too difficult to properly seperate the battery from the housing.

From an engineering standpoint, this is ideal! You don't want the battery falling out!

From a recycling standpoint, this is deplorable! You can't recycle the LiON battery pack without incuring a significant loss!

Rather than accept that they need to implement a less ideal retainer mechanism for their batteries, apple has thumbed their nose at regulators.

There will be consequences.

Case closed.

Re:This is blindingly obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611893)

>The issue here is that in order for a recycling program to be effective, it has to be sufficiently easy for things to be recycled,

What could be easier than "call Apple up, they send you a pre-paid shipping container to send it to them, or just drop it off at an Apple store and they take it from there"?

>There will be consequences.

Yeah, the rest of the industry will figure out that EPEAT is out of date.

Re:This is blindingly obvious (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611953)

Be sure to include that apple then sends the unit to a 3rd world country, where it is disassembled using hazardous but cheap methods, in order to overcome their own design problem, rather than fix their PLM mistake, and completely negate any and all environmental benefit of said recycling in the process.

Re:This is blindingly obvious (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612065)

apple then sends the unit to a 3rd world country, where it is disassembled using hazardous but cheap methods

Nope.

This is Apple's recycling vendor. [simsrecycling.com] They don't ship anything out of the country.

Got anything else you want to make up, or have you embarrassed yourself enough?

Re:This is blindingly obvious (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612149)

Interesting. But from their own site "ensure that your recycling is done here in NA, and not in developing countries!", indicating that the standard operating procedure is exactly what I described.

It's nice to know apple has such a proactive stance. Thank you for the correction, though the hostile tone is disgraceful and you should be ashamed.

I am curious to know, since you seem so well informed, how much does SIMS charge apple for this service, and does apple have to subsidise the battery removal process? If so, how much margin has apple set aside for this process, and is their business model able to handle widespread employmet of their applecare recycling program?

(Or, is it more like I suspect, and more a numbers game betting that most apple purchasers won't make use of this "free" service, and that the added costs of recycling in NA are recouped with a higher sales price?)

(Also, many of the removed components can *only* be recycled in developing countries, or be hugely subsidised due to environmental protection laws. Things like the LiON battery itself. [altenergystocks.com] )

I look forward to your insightful answer!

The letter of the law... (1, Funny)

drkim (1559875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611603)

I believe Apple doesn't want to comply with the EPEAT standard because it doesn't start with a lower case 'i' --> iPEAT

If you really care about the environment (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611627)

You probably shouldn't buy any smart phones or tablets of any brand - EPEAT doesn't even attempt to certify those.

I have to wonder how effective this will actually be. There are processes to get around this ban - they're supposedly onerous, but the city would of course claim that whether it were really true or not.

Apple claims they'll recycle any computer returned to them. It would be interesting to pin them down on the specifics regarding how their non-EPEAT-certified hardware is recycled, piece by piece.

Re:If you really care about the environment (0, Flamebait)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611713)

No, no, no. If you _really_ care about the environment you should kill yourself somewhere wildlife can eat you. Two for one.

Or it's not so simple as a binary care not care switch. There are many competing cares and desires that different people weight differently.

Re:If you really care about the environment (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612029)

I was about to write a comment involving politicians, oil barons and the chemical industry, but ill refrain because of echelon. I might want to go to the US someday.

Re:If you really care about the environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612035)

Wildlife can eat you pretty much anywhere. In fact, they're trying to eat you right now.

meh! (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611635)

cheaper computers usually don't have EPEAT certification anyway. What share of sales would SF account for? very little I would guess.

sigh... (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611641)

I have a really witty comment about San Francisco stopping buying Apple computers, but it's in poor taste, and would probably be perceived as an attempt at flamsterbaition, rather than the sincere attempt at being a smartass that it would actually be.

So I'll skip posting it, but you might want to pretend I did and mod me town as a troll anyway, just for thinking of it.

Re:sigh... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611691)

I suspect that same "witty comment" immediately popped into a lot of our heads - whether we are Apple fans or foes. It's just too easy.

No Apple Macintoshes? Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611749)

Now they'll have to settle for IIc's, IIe's, and IIgs's. Ah well, at least they can still play Castle Wolfenstein when work is slow.

Outrageous (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611775)

I'm amazed they were buying Apple computers in the first place. Do San Francisco's taxpayers know that their local government is willing to spend twice what they need to on a computer just so they can have one that looks pretty?

Dear Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40611863)

oh nevermind.. ;)

One of them must be lying (2)

linzello (2277172) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611903)

"Apple defended the move by saying their products are environmentally superior in areas not measured by EPEAT."

First line from front page of the EPEAT website:

"EPEAT is a comprehensive environmental rating..."

Less than $50K of computers (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 2 years ago | (#40611987)

Which means they were for "select few". And I kinda doubt that those who want a new Retina MBP will not get one -- they'll probably simply expense it (instead of having the IT department buy them one).
Either that, or there will be a new exemption soon, for "ultra-thin computers" with "has to be able to disassemble" requirement removed :)

Dejevu (1)

AliusRatio (2681753) | more than 2 years ago | (#40612019)

Apple sounds like the oil industry explaining why they don't need regulation since they self monitor.

They WHAT?!? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612111)

You mean to tell me a cash-strapped California city was wasting money on Apple products in the FIRST PLACE?!? No wonder that state's going bankrupt... well, good for them. Maybe they'll wise-up and switch to systems running Linux or other FLOSS OS's and applications software, so they can stop squandering tax-payer money on overpriced junk...

Haha, hear them scream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612199)

"*gasp* My beloved iiiiiiiiiiiBook!" (Or is it "iMac" now? I forget.)

"OMG! I'll do everything on my iPad from now on - I swear, I swear to God! - everything!

Environmental facism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612271)

Apple's decision is quite simple. Environmentalists have overstepped the boundaries of good sense, and are now trying to force the world to follow their philosophy of a society highly controlled and monitored by do-gooders. And Apple don't want any part of that.

Good for them...

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