Apple agrees to pay $450K to settle charges of mishandling e-waste in California

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Apple has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle claims it improperly dealt with e-waste at facilities in Cupertino and Sunnyvale, the California Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday.




In Cupertino, Apple allegedly operated an e-waste shredding facility between 2011 and 2012 without informing regulators, also mishandling metal dust from the facility, Reuters reported. The complex took in 1.1 million pounds of waste before being closed in Jan. 2013.

The Sunnyvale complex is said to have processed 800,000 pounds of waste before regulators were told it existed. On top of this, the company is accused of taking toxic dust swept off the floor to a site lacking the authority to handle it.

Apple further failed to report and track waste exports, regulators said, or mark used oil containers as hazardous.

The incidents conflict with the public image Apple has crafted for itself, which depict it as one of the most environmentally responsible companies in the world. Its electronics have been stripped of many dangerous chemicals, and the company has worked aggressively to use renewable energy at as many of its stores and offices as possible.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    sog35 said:
    HYPOCRACY

    This is what pisses me off about Tim Cook's Apple.  Getting involved in all these dumb ass social crusades and then get caught with crap like this. Apple is better off being more neutral in these issues.

    Cook and his social crusades of gay rights, green, privacy, and diversity is dumb. And is only hurting and DISTRACTING the company.  Too much energy is being wasted on these issues. While at the same time Apple and Cook is doing hypocritical things:

    1. Cook preaches gay rights and diversity. Yet he goes full bore in praising China and making it the big market. Yet China persecutes gays and minorities.

    2. Cook preaches Green, yet we have this fine. Plus all the horrible mining operations that supply Apple's devices

    3. Cook preaches privacy, yet he makes Google the default search on iOS

    Bottom line is Cook needs to dial down his preachy social issue platform or resign from Apple. He can run a charity organization and be fully committed to its cause.

    Apple is BIG BUSINESS. They can't be a champion of social change. They should not be. It puts the company in too many compromising situations.
    Will you please take your anti Tim Cook comments and shove them.
    spice-boygroakesterr00fus1ration alrepressthisminicoffeebaconstangpulseimageswatto_cobrajfc1138
  • Reply 2 of 25
    I really, really doubt it was Apple that was running this e-waste facility. More than likely they subcontracted this activity.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,534member
    I really, really doubt it was Apple that was running this e-waste facility. More than likely they subcontracted this activity.

    Yah, this was 3 years ago, and was obviously a big oversight on their part. Apple was responsible at the end of the day, and this was clearly a big learning opportunity for them. Several irresponsible actions that conflict with their very-public statements of caring for the environment. I'm glad that they were fined. It would be nice for them to share more information on their recycling processes beyond Liam, their dissassembly robot.
    ration alavon b7baconstang
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Sog35, You are in a bubble of your own making.

    Apple has every reason to stand on the correct side of the countless ethical, environmental and social ills that confront humanity.

    are you so shallow, you haven't heard that equality is the goal of a more perfect union, or company, society or marriage?

    As for the environment, have you not heard, Sog, we have a big problem with climate change? You may not care, but Apple as an institution, most of Apples employees, many of its customers, many of the nationals of its home nation, the nations and treaties upon which it is regulated and .... most marginally enlightened people throughout the world understand and expect that companies and governments  must lead the way and will be held to that standard. As well it should be! A lot more people would be bitching, I assure you, if the held the opposite opinion about the worlds ills.

    Come out of your cave.

    Also, realize Tim Cook is a good man, represents Apple in an exemplary manner as an administrator, front man and lead strategist. He has served as a role model, going forward for countless Executives, both corporate and Government.

    is he perfect, no. Only those in the rarefied world of s...5 are so prescient.



    groakesterr00fus1ration alstevehsingularitydysamoriajfc1138
  • Reply 5 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    I really, really doubt it was Apple that was running this e-waste facility. More than likely they subcontracted this activity.
    Apple's response would at least imply that they were running the operations and not a 3rd party.

    Apple: "This matter involves an oversight in filing paperwork to close one of our recycling facilities as part of our expansion to a larger site," Apple spokeswoman Alisha Johnson told Reuters in an emailed statement.

    "We've worked closely with [the Department of Toxic Substance Control] to ensure that going forward we have the proper permits for our current site. As we do with all our facilities, we followed our stringent set of health and safety standards, which go well beyond legal requirements."


    edited December 2016 ration aljony0
  • Reply 6 of 25
    "Apple is BIG BUSINESS. They can't be a champion of social change." Those oppose to others having equal human rights are themselves less than human. 
    groakesterbaconstangdysamoriajony0
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Eigentor!

    I don't mind Tim's trying to get out front and lead on social issues. 

    But if they do, the old saying (from Top Gun?) of having to do it "cleaner and better" fully applies. 

    It can not be possible for any internal decisions to approve anything that contradicts Apple's stated publicly positions. To contradict one calls all into question.  One would also do well to remember Churchill's quote: "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on", so is it with bad news and the costs of countering bad news are higher and less effective remedially than just doing things right the first time. 

    For Apple to continue to command a price premium they need to remain emotionally aspirational, they cannot focus strictly on the bottom line and they need to jealously guard their reputation and image.  

    People like to know that they buy from companies that have positive principles; they even can convince themselves that some of the price premium is covering the costs of Cleaner and Better. 
    edited December 2016 groakesterapple jockeyration albaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 25
    I agree he needs to always be under the microscope! Absolutely. 
  • Reply 9 of 25
    sog35 said:

    Cook has not performed well the last year. That's a fact.
    Isn't 'fact' meant to be in all caps, otherwise how can we know it really is a fact?
    randominternetpersonRayz2016stevehbaconstangsingularitydysamoriawatto_cobracrowley
  • Reply 10 of 25
    If you are going to charge "facts" then get them straight.

    Mac sales are own BECAUSE computer usage is declining in favor of mobile.  This is a factor for all computer manufacturers for the past 4 to 5 years.  The impact on Macs (to this shift in technology) has been less (only showing in the last couple of quarters) than it has been on Wintels, BECAUSE Macs have a much longer economic life.

    iPhone sales have flattened or declined during the last 4 quarters BECAUSE of economic weakness worldwide, excepting the US . This has led to a dramatic shift is foreign exchange rates that are detrimental to US exporters.  Today's balance of trade report shows continuing weakness in US exports and increasing imports due to the strength of the US$.

    Apple is impacted the same as US exporters because all of its products are priced in US$ or the local equivalent.  As the US$ goes up in value foreign currencies go down (in relation to the US$).  In the last 12 months Apple products sold outside the US have gone up 10% to 15% in order to maintain US$ equivalency of a year ago.  Stated simply: US produced products become more expensive in foreign markets while foreign manufactured products become less expensive in the US.

    Tim Cook has little to no control over these issues.  You can blame him, but that only shows the level of ignorance you have on the subject.
    ration alRayz2016baconstangwatto_cobrajfc1138
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Let's not overreact to this story.  My reading of the article suggests that this is more of a "nice try doing good work, but you forgot to dot a few "i"s" rather than "industrial polluter gets caught!"  The main complaint is that Apple failed to notify the regulators about a couple facilities.  Note: no suggestion of a cover up or that this was a secret operation; just failed to file a required report.  Then when the faithful regulators show up, they find a couple of tangential issues (failure to handle sweepings correctly and failure to label some waste).  Then it comes to the fine: less than half a million dollars.  My conclusion is that these are mid-level management failures rather than executive failures (or nefarious scheming).
    ration alstevehbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    On MAY 29, 2013 FORBES wrote: ‘Tim Cook Hires Lisa Jackson At Apple: It's All About The Bureaucracy’

    All this happened before that time…
    So, I think Cook did the right thing.
    baconstang
  • Reply 13 of 25
    wigbywigby Posts: 691member
    sog35 said:
    Sog35, You are in a bubble of your own making.

    Apple has every reason to stand on the correct side of the countless ethical, environmental and social ills that confront humanity.

    are you so shallow, you haven't heard that equality is the goal of a more perfect union, or company, society or marriage?

    As for the environment, have you not heard, Sog, we have a big problem with climate change? You may not care, but Apple as an institution, most of Apples employees, many of its customers, many of the nationals of its home nation, the nations and treaties upon which it is regulated and .... most marginally enlightened people throughout the world understand and expect that companies and governments  must lead the way and will be held to that standard. As well it should be! A lot more people would be bitching, I assure you, if the held the opposite opinion about the worlds ills.

    Come out of your cave.

    Also, realize Tim Cook is a good man, represents Apple in an exemplary manner as an administrator, front man and lead strategist. He has served as a role model, going forward for countless Executives, both corporate and Government.

    is he perfect, no. Only those in the rarefied world of s...5 are so prescient.



    Environmental issues are important.  And Apple should do what it can. But to make the THE SELLING POINT is stupid. Cook has already wasted several hours on bragging about their social programs at product events. Why can't Apple just shut up and make their actions speak?

    Maybe Cook is a good man. But he can be a good man and not be the CEO of Apple.

    Bottom line is his results the last 2 years have been total crap. He deserves to be questioned.
    You are sure a short game player. Cook has increased Apple's brand value infinitely by tackling social and environment issues. iPhone sales will go up and down again a hundred times. Even Wall Street doesn't care about the short term game of iPhone sales. By positioning Apple as a brand that cares, Cook is setting them up for another 50 years. Apple is the goto aspirational brand for youth in terms of social status and social consciousness. No one is even close right now. Does that mean Apple is perfect? of course not. They can be hypocritical at times and downright obtuse too. But their marketing muscle is what gets them through the dips in sales and the recalls and bad support stories that pop up from time to time. Every company faces these problems but not every tech company has Apple's teflon image. That was crafted from years of behind the scenes angling and also in precision keynote deliveries and masterful PR. If you don't like Apple's social crusades, don't listen. But don't be so naive as to think that all they need is a really great product and they will win customers forever. It's never worked like that, not even under Jobs.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 14 of 25
    gatorguy said:
    I really, really doubt it was Apple that was running this e-waste facility. More than likely they subcontracted this activity.
    Apple's response would at least imply that they were running the operations and not a 3rd party.

    Apple: "This matter involves an oversight in filing paperwork to close one of our recycling facilities as part of our expansion to a larger site," Apple spokeswoman Alisha Johnson told Reuters in an emailed statement.

    "We've worked closely with [the Department of Toxic Substance Control] to ensure that going forward we have the proper permits for our current site. As we do with all our facilities, we followed our stringent set of health and safety standards, which go well beyond legal requirements."


    "...our facilities..." does not suggest to me that they actually own the facilities. 
  • Reply 15 of 25
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member
    Now compare these discretions against ones by companies in similar businesses. Apple's a saint in comparison.
    randominternetpersonbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    sog is completely right. What the hell is Apple doing, talking a bunch of flowers at events and then letting this crap show in the actual facilities? They can't be preaching about all this when they don't even follow what they say. And you Cook fanboys, f*ck off. If you don't realize that Apple is not at the top of their game right now, you're oblivious. New MBP - Overpriced and underpowered (fact. Don't pick an argument over this.) iPhone 7 - Meh. Sales stagnant or negative. iPad - Complete disaster. "Services" - Not a bread and butter money maker. Watch - Sales falling. Failed to live up to hype. iMac, MBA, Macbook, Mac Mini, Mac Pro - Unchanged. What the hell are they doing? Stock - Don't even start to talk about it. Tim Cook is clearly not doing the best he can. He certainly deserves to be questioned.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 17 of 25
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,416member
    Steve Jobs died in October 2011.  These violations occurred in 2011 & 2012.
    A large part of what's utterly noxious about Sog35's hysterical ravings is that 
    they are so clearly devoid of reliance on anything he hasn't decided is "a fact".
    Companies make mistakes, especially large ones, and they can't all be laid directly
    at the feet of a company's CEO...whoever actually was CEO when this started.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobrajfc1138
  • Reply 18 of 25
    You can't say apple cares about the environment when they purposely solder on RAM and hard drives to limit upgrades. How is that good for recycling when someone has to pry off the glued on components?
    singularitydigitol
  • Reply 19 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    sog35 said:
    HYPOCRACY

    This is what pisses me off about Tim Cook's Apple.  Getting involved in all these dumb ass social crusades and then get caught with crap like this. Apple is better off being more neutral in these issues.

    Cook and his social crusades of gay rights, green, privacy, and diversity is dumb. And is only hurting and DISTRACTING the company.  Too much energy is being wasted on these issues. While at the same time Apple and Cook is doing hypocritical things:

    1. Cook preaches gay rights and diversity. Yet he goes full bore in praising China and making it the big market. Yet China persecutes gays and minorities.

    2. Cook preaches Green, yet we have this fine. Plus all the horrible mining operations that supply Apple's devices

    3. Cook preaches privacy, yet he makes Google the default search on iOS

    Bottom line is Cook needs to dial down his preachy social issue platform or resign from Apple. He can run a charity organization and be fully committed to its cause.

    Apple is BIG BUSINESS. They can't be a champion of social change. They should not be. It puts the company in too many compromising situations.

    It has been a good week for me so far:

    1. Apple opening up AI and being more lax about their privacy stances (something I've been begging for )
    2. Apple getting caught breaking enviromental laws ( hypocritical social crusades of Cook)
    3. Cook finally defending the Brand (bashing IDC and Watch report)

    Hopefully Cook is learning. And learning first and foremost he needs to be making Apple and its shareholders money and provide the best products for its customers. Stupid ass social crusades, ridiculous privacy policies, and refusing to defend the brand needs to be things of the past.

    Business is tough. Especially in tech. Cook needs to get tough. kick some ass Cook.

    Apple isn't great because of some stupid ass social crusades. 
    Apple is great because they provide the best products and services. That is what Cook should be concerned about 99.999% of the time. In the past 2 years Cook's attention has been too split with social issues.
    You keep saying you're not a bigot and then go on to repeatedly reference social causes as "stupid ass". If you cared about these causes, you wouldn't belittle them while slamming Cook for what you claim is distraction from business. Your distaste for social issues is seething from almost every post you reference them in. If you wanted to get anyone on your side, anyone who gives a damn about social and environmental issues, this is absolutely the opposite path to success.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    ... and yes, this is super lousy of Apple.

    i shouldn't be surprised. Their image means more to them than anything. Actions that aren't likely to be easily seen... well...
    digitol
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