Apple has offered to take old computing equipment off the hands of accredited U.S. schools and universities until July 31.
The company announced the limited, free recycling offer just weeks after CEO Steve Jobs promised a greener Apple. Schools and universities must register before June 30 for free pickup and recycling of any brand-name equipment by July 31.
Schools and colleges must comply with laws regarding disposal of public assets and must have at least 25 computers for recycling. They must shrink-wrap the products themselves and load them onto their own wooden shipping pallets. The pallets must be available for pickup from a ground floor at an agreed-upon time.
Apple said it will accept monitors and peripherals, unless it suspects contamination by substances that weren't in the original equipment or aren't associated with normal household or office environments. The company said it will not pick up hazardous waste, separate batteries, UPS systems, or CRTs that have been removed, cracked, or broken.
Apple said the equipment will be picked up and recycled in the United States, and schools will receive certificates of destruction and recycling. All identifying information will be removed and hard drives will be ground into confetti-sized pieces.
Still, Apple said it won't take responsibility for the loss of or confidentiality of the data, or for damages resulting from participation. It urged schools and universities to remove diskettes, CDs, and PC cards and to back up or transfer data before deleting it from hard-disk drives and storage devices.
Apple Stores aren't participating.