Apple AirPods aren’t exactly the best material when it comes to responsible recycling. Critics have noted that AirPods have batteries that degrade and the product itself is hard to repair.
While that could be the prevailing opinion, Apple has made mention of their recycling program as a way for users to get their Apple products recycled and possibly make some money off the exchange, too.
The Cupertino-based firm stated that they provide support to recyclers beyond their supply chain and are working towards a streamlined process. Apple users do have options when it comes to properly disposing of their AirPods. They can take it to the nearest authorized Apple Store or request a shipment label (free of charge) via the Trade In program.
Apple recycling partner company Winston GreenTech said that the AirPods are laboriously taken apart by hand tools, from which valuable and critical components, including the audio drivers and batteries can be harvested and sent to metal refineries and smelters for reuse.