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New Apple iPod Recycling Program offers incentive

In response to mounding pressure from environmental activists, Apple today announced a free recycling program for its iPod digital music players.

Beginning today, customers can bring iPods they no longer want to any of Apple’s 100 retail stores in the US for free environmentally friendly disposal, and those who drop off an iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo will receive a 10 percent discount on the purchase of a new iPod that day.

iPods received for recycling in the US will be processed domestically and no hazardous material will be shipped overseas, Apple said in a statement to the press.

At the company\'s annual shareholders meeting this past April, a group environmentalists drew the ire of Apple chief executive Steve Jobs by attacking Apple’s policies on recycling through picketing and other means.

Specifically, the group charged that the iPod is an \"environmental time-bomb\" because it contains lead and other toxins that will eventually end up in landfills somewhere.

At the time, Jobs fired back saying consumers often throw away old electronics batteries. He also recognized that tens of thousands of iPod owners had already replaced their iPod batteries through Apple’s $99 Battery Replacement Program, which properly disposes of the old batteries.

More details of Apple’s worldwide recycling programs are available at Apple\'s environmental website.