Apple has said it will be suing its recycling partner after the recycling company was found to have been reselling more than 100,000 Apple products, rather than recycling them, as agreed.
Apple has said the move to sue its recycling partner for reselling more than 100,000 products that were originally intended to be recycled comes after GEEP Canada was found to have resold Apple products instead of recycling them.
Apple says that more than 100,000 devices, including iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads were not recycled by the company, which is said to have impacted demand for Apple’s new products and had huge potential for the resale of unsafe products.
GEEP Canada has denied allegations that the organisation was aware of the resale of Apple devices, saying instead that three rogue employees were engaged in the resale program while the organisation was unwitting.
Apple has said it will continue suing its recycling partner for $31 million in damages for reselling its products. In a claim filed earlier this year, Apple stated that “At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed- a fact that GEEP itself confirmed.”
The suit continues to explain that “these misappropriated devices were then subsequently sold at a significantly higher price than other recycled materials to downstream vendors who refurbished and resold the devices to consumers.”
Apple signed a contract with GEEP Canada back in 2014, according to a report from The Logic who broke the story. Authors of that report says that “Apple’s claim highlights that the employees in question were members of senior management and states that knowledge of the activity was widespread in the company.”
The deal was originally signed in the hope that Apple could become more environmentally conscious in the recycling of precious metals used in the electronics of its devices. Apple looked to GEEP to remove these metals and phone batteries
According to reporting from The Logic, “Apple encourages customers to drop off their old devices, which it then sends to firms like GEEP for recycling. Between January 2015 and December 2017, Apple shipped 531,966 iPhones, 25,673 iPads and 19,277 Apple Watches to Geep.”
GEEP has responded to the allegations in their own claim stating that “in an attempt to conceal their activities, including from GEEP’s management and executives, some or all of Micks, Cooper and White, either directly or indirectly, created and/or manipulated documentation evidencing the supposed destruction of the stolen products, even though no such destruction occurred.”
The company has said that once it was aware of the wrongdoing and subsequent cover up, it was quick to dismantle the reselling scheme. Apple stopped using the services of GEEP once the company discovered the theft of products between 2017 and 2018.
Apple has said that reselling products intended for recycling has potential hazards for consumers, with a spokesperson telling The Verge that “products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause safety issues, including electrical or battery defects.”