Liam can’t recycle every iPhone, even with 29 arms

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liam-apple-recycle-robot
Apple's new robot, Liam, is a recycling machine, but so are we...
Photo: Apple/YouTube

Liam, Apple’s robot that deconstructs iPhones to mine the valuable resources inside them, is certainly cool — but he’s still not the recycling machine we deserve (or need).

Just like any Apple product, Liam was designed to work well. But how much good does the robot, which took three years to develop and build, actually do?

Get extra Earth Day cash when you trade in your Apple gear

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Doesn't get much better than getting paid to help the Earth...
Doesn't get much better than getting paid to help the Earth...
Photo: Pixabay

Today is Earth Day. That’s good news for the environment — and great news for your wallet!

To celebrate, we’re offering an extra $10 for every product sold on our gadget buyback program through the end of the weekend. Just use the promo code “earthday” when you get your quote and you’ll grab the extra green.

Apple Stores will ditch plastic bags for paper this month

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Am I the only one who dislikes Apple Store bags?
Goodbye, old friend!
Photo: hellosanta1225

As part of Apple’s continued focus on the environment, Apple Stores will soon ditch their instantly recognizable plastic bags for new paper ones made of 80 percent recycled materials.

The official changeover happens April 15, although stores will continue to use the old plastic bags until they run out of stock. The new bags come in both medium and large sizes.

In Ghana, the global problem of e-waste has local consequences

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Loads of mobile phones end up in Ghana, where they may or may not be recycled properly.
Loads of mobile phones end up in Ghana, where they may or may not be recycled properly.
Photo: Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform/Flickr CC

Consumers have a nasty habit of throwing out their electronics as soon as newer, shinier models become available, and they rarely ever do so properly. Nearly 42 million tons of e-waste — everything from microwaves and electric shavers to washing machines, laptops, cellphones, TVs and computer monitors — entered the global garbage stream in 2014, according to a United Nations University report.

Like all trash, this stuff doesn’t just disappear. Instead, it stacks up in landfills. Unlike most trash, however, e-waste is often packed with valuable components — as well as toxic chemicals and materials that can cause real damage wherever they end up.

Meet the radical who wants the iPad banned!

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iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens is the Bernie Sanders of the electronics industry. He doesn't want reform -- he wants wholesale revolution!
iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens is the Bernie Sanders of the electronics industry. He doesn't want reform -- he wants wholesale revolution!
Photo: iFixit

Kyle Wiens thinks the iPad should be banned. It’s a “highly immoral” product, he says, because it can’t be opened and repaired when the battery dies. It’s a throwaway device, and he wants governments to prohibit it.

“It’s not designed to be long-lasting,” said Wiens, who is the co-founder and CEO of iFixit. “It’s like selling a car that has to be replaced when the tires wear out.”

Wiens is the Bernie Sanders of the electronics industry. He doesn’t just want reform — he wants revolution!

Here’s why.

iFixit can now help you repair more broken gadgets than ever

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iFixit's Kyle Wiens.
iFixit's Kyle Wiens.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit has made repairing broken iPhones as simple as setting up Ikea furniture thanks to the site’s easy-to-follow guides and excellent repair tools Apple doesn’t really want you to use. Now the company is about make it easier to fix even more broken gadgets by partnering with Electronic Recyclers International.

Finding parts to fix broken Kindles, GoPros, and Nexus devices can be practically impossible, but now that iFixit and ERI are teaming up, consumers will have a way to keep more of their busted gizmos alive, instead of tossing them in the wood chipper.

Giant iPhone 3G repurposed as an insanely cool Mac monitor

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Suddenly my 5K iMac seems less exciting.
Photo: 92JMFL/Imgur

Back in 2008, when Apple was selling roughly a tenth of the number of iPhones it sells today, the company produced a limited number of giant-sized display iPhones with built-in 30-inch Cinema Displays to show off its new line of smartphones.

Most of them were destroyed after the promotion was finished, but thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, we can see that at least one made it out alive — and has now been converted by Reddit user 92JMFL into possibly the world’s sweetest Mac display.

Check out more photos below.

Inside the ‘mega-shredder’ facility that chews up old electronics

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Smartphones await their fate at SIMS Recycling Solutions' mega-shredder facility in Roseville, California. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Smartphones await their fate at Sims Recycling Solutions' mega-shredder facility in Roseville, California. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

ROSEVILLE, California – This is where your electronics go to die.

In a nondescript, 200,000-square-foot warehouse 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, box after box of discarded electronics and parts sit at Sims Recycling Solutions, awaiting their date with the “mega-shredder” at the end of the line. That’s where four rows of 22 hardened-steel blades will rip and grind the metal housings and circuit boards into tiny chunks.

“We recycle almost everything,” said Bill Vasquez, Sims’ vice president of U.S. operations, during Cult of Mac’s recent tour of the facility. He said more than 99 percent of the materials that pass through Sims’ doors gets recycled. “Our focus is to divert everything from landfill as much as possible.”