Apple Sues Recycling Firm For Selling Dismantled Devices

Apple is suing a Canadian firm called GEEP Canada for allegedly reselling more than 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches it should have scrapped or recycled.

Apple’s lawsuit against GEEP Canada was filed back in January this year, but only came to light when court papers were published, according to

Apple had been working with GEEP Canada since 2014, and between January 2015 and December 2017, the dismantler received a total of 500,000 devices which were supposed to be dismantled and recycled.

Apple lawsuit

But Apple conducted an investigation and found that 18 percent of these devices were still accessing the internet, suggesting they had in fact been sold on and not scrapped.

GEEP Canada does not deny the thefts, but according to has filed a counter suit in July this year claiming that the thefts were conducted by three ‘rogue’ employees without the knowledge of the company.

Apple however argues these employees were in fact senior management at the firm.

“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed,” Apple reportedly said in its suit

Apple is reportedly seeking full recovery of the profits made from the resale of these devices, plus $22.7m (US).

GEEP meanwhile is seeking to get the three employees to pay damages and costs, if Apple wins.

The company reportedly said it suffered “extensive businesses losses” because of the thefts and Apple’s terminating of the contract.

Recycling drive

Apple continues to push efforts to recycle its electronics.

In September 2019 the iPad maker reached an agreement with an unnamed third party supplier to use recycled rare earth elements in its iPhone smartphones.

Prior to that in 2017 Apple pledged to set itself the goal of “one day” making its devices using 100 percent recycled materials, rather than mining for metals and toxic rare materials such as tungsten and cobalt.

Some of its Macbook models make use of recycled aluminium.

In April 2019 Apple opened up about its effort to become even more environmentally friendly, by offering an insight into its normally secretive factories.

It showed to the world its iPhone eating robot called Daisy located at its Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas.

Daisy the recycling robot allows for the disassembly and recycling of used iPhones in both the United States and the Netherlands.

This allows Apple to recover important materials for re-use. Cobalt for example is a key material for batteries. Apple now uses recovered Cobalt to make brand-new Apple batteries.

Apple also uses 100 percent recycled tin in a key component of the main logic boards of 11 different products.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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