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Apple to Begin Recycling Customers' Old Macs

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) will soon adopt an environmentally friendly twist for buyers of new Macintosh computers by offering to recycle their old computers for free.

The Cupertino-based company said its expanded take-back offer will begin in June. U.S. customers who buy a new Mac through the Apple store online or any Apple retail store will receive free shipping and recycling of their old machines.

Currently, Apple retail stores accept old iPod music players for free recycling. In addition, Cupertino residents may drop off old Macs at company headquarters, while others pay a $30 recycling fee to drop off or ship their computers.

Environmental advocacy organizations that have criticized Apple's recycling initiatives in the past applauded the computer maker's expanded program, saying it is now closer in line with those of other major PC makers, notably Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Dell Inc. (DELL).

But the environmental groups contend Apple still needs to do more and will present a proposal at Apple's shareholder meeting Thursday calling for the company to study ways to improve recycling.