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I had a look at EPEAT. It is possible that Apple just doesn't want them as a design partner.

There are thousands of design tradeoffs to be made in a laptop. Is EPEAT willing to update and republish their rules every time a manufacturer finds a better solution that doesn't comply with the rules? The guidelines seem to track well with 2000 era PCs and cell phones.

From what I can see (EPEAT does not make their guidelines available without payment, there may have been something useful in their Resources section, but I'm finding broken links to third party file sharing sites) they have a set of categories that are required and some that are optional. By how many optionals you meet you get a bronze, silver, or gold rating. Apple marketing can't tolerate anything but a gold.

The guidelines I see don't have flexibility to them. For instance, if you can reduce your glass consumption by 50% by gluing it to something that can acceptably be chucked into the glass recycler, that may be a better environmental decision, but it may also be forbidden by EPEAT.

EPEAT says things need to be taken apart with "common tools". Does the pentalobular screw head count? I doubt it. Even if Apple sends pentalobular screwdrivers with each pallet of computers to the recycler it doesn't count for EPEAT.


" It is possible that..", "I see don't"... "may be a better ... decision"..."The guidelines I see"... "I doubt it"

Your claims are a long stream of unsupported speculation.

Rather than speculate, we can consult the article. The article mentions that the guidelines were developed with Apple's input. The article sources a couple people who noted that the recent MacBook Pro was mostly unrecycleable.

And the "something" which the screen was glued to is the battery and given that batteries are major source of toxic waste, it is hard to imagine how a smaller battery or screen might be a desirable trade-off for the battery's toxic ingredients entering the environment.

Edit: re-reading the article, the situation is that the screen is glued to the case and the battery is glued to the case. Effectively the same result: '“If the battery is glued to the case it means you can’t recycle the case and you can’t recycle the battery,” Frisbee said.'

I'm not inclined to consider the article as especially authoritative. It is mostly echoes from blog posts collected into a story.

…guidelines were developed with Apple's input… In what year? Half a decade ago? A decade? You can not simultaneously innovate better manufacturing and make things the same old way.

People need to stop being in a glue tizzy. I'm sure that in a recycling context the glue can be undone with either heat or a chisel. And remember that Apple has a plan in place to replace those batteries.

I suspect the story we are not seeing is that EPEAT is not willing to update the standard fast enough to adapt to modern manufacturing. And they probably shouldn't. Apple will be secretive until release, and EPEAT should take some time to think about things. Those just aren't going to work together.

"I'm sure that in a recycling context the glue can be undone with either heat or a chisel."

Every decision impacting recycling has to be viewed with labor costs factored in.

Virtually every recycling victory we've seen in the corporate sector in the past decade or two is due to efforts to make the recycling process cheap enough that the loss is negligible (and in the best cases, recycling is even profitable).

Nobody is saying that gluing things together makes them completely unrecyclable, but that glue could easily be the difference between a recycling company actually recycling parts vs throwing them in the landfill due to increased costs blowing the economics of recycling out of whack (if cost of recycling is significantly larger than cost of throwing item in the landfill, the item is almost certainly going in the landfill).

This is exactly the situation EPEAT was set up (as mentioned, with Apple's input) to watchdog over, and Apple is clearly now putting spectacular hardware design above any green/recycling factors. Whether or not that is a terrible thing is a personal choice to make, but you seem kind of fanboyish in your efforts to pretend like Apple's decision is somehow EPEAT's fault.

Accept that you prefer computers that are now actively non-recyclable and move on.

That's 40 cents worth of scrap aluminum. I'm not seeing a plausible argument for labor rates making it landfill.

It's far too dangerous to put either heat or a chisel anywhere near a Lithium ion battery.

So, yes, it's completely unrecyclable.

Depending on the chemistry lithium ion batteries are safe to up to 400°F or more. Surely the manufacturing engineers pick a thermo adhesive with a melting point between the maximum operating temperature and the maximum safe storage temperature.

Think about the iPad 2 screen glue. Glass glued in place, but a hair dryer is more than enough heat to release the glue.

"Depending on the chemistry" is not a valid answer when recycling something - they don't have time to lookup the specs of each battery.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/lithium_ion_safet... says maximum temperature of 265°F, which is very very close to the temperature needed to melt the glue (250°F, for low temperature glues, and 380F for high temperature glue - which is very close to even your 400° number.)

I'm sure that in a recycling context the glue can be undone with either heat or a chisel.

So, your proposed recycling solution is to attack a glued on lithium battery with heat and/or a chisel. Can we film you doing this for charity or something?

I suspect the story we are not seeing is that EPEAT is not willing to update the standard fast enough to adapt to modern manufacturing.

Ummm... I suspect the story that we are seeing is that you have no idea whatsoever about modern manufacturing and are just making shit up to try and defend a position of personal dogma.

The spirit of Tim O'Reilly, Steve Jobs, and other great innovators of that generation, whose worldviews were shaped by counterculture values and the human rights movement of the 1960's are truly vanishing from silicon valley. Welcome to the new spirit of online innovation, a culture driven by pure commercialism and dreams of higher profits for all.

I've come to expect nothing less from the Hacker News community than what's reflected by the general tone of the comments in this post.

1. Unless it's an issue related to net neutrality or 'geek rights', let's bend over backward to give corporate America the benefit of the doubt; after all, as aspiring entrepreneurs, can't you sympathize with behavior intended to maximize net revenue?

2. Apple is being victimized by outside parties that fail to comprehend the importance of slaughtering all ideals and standards at the temple of Apple design whims (if a screw requires an extra 2mm of space, there's absolutely no environmental trade-off worthy of discussion or debate).

3. Let's not jump too quickly to question authority, especially when it involves Apple or any tech flavor of the month because you should assume their motives are pure.

>gluing it to something that can acceptably be chucked into the glass recycler //

Can you (or anyone) provide a citation on the viability of chucking electronics fused to displays in to a glass recycler?

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