I bricked my iPod Touch years ago by mounting it on a ghetto blaster with an iPod port.

  • It was probably power line noise when I cranked the volume.
  • I cannot factory reset the device

For the longest time, I didn't know how to erase my personal data in the nonvolatile memory, short of physically pulverizing the components on the motherboard. (Living in a tiny highrise apartment does not make that easy.)

Today, I brought it to the Apple Genius Bar. The iPod Touch it's so old that they can't even send it to someone to remove the nonvolatile memory. In the end, I just decided to recycle it. It still bothered me.

After some websearching, found this webpage:"The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) is an industry-led not-for-profit that oversees a network of end-of-life electronics recycling facilities across Canada....is responsible for making sure Canada's electronics recyclers meet strict provincial security, safety and environmental guidelines."

Does anyone know whether Apple's recycling falls under this program?

The FAQ at the Apple Trade In[https://www.apple.com/ca/trade-in] page doesn't address the details of due diligence in preventing data recovery.


I looked at the Ontario page for the EPRA, which references new recycling regulation. There's not much there about due diligence in preventing recovery of data. According to the above article, the security comes from the fact that phone are "put...into the approved recycling track", presumably meaning that materials are reused rather than the components.

  • 2
    The storage on iPhones and iPads is encrypted by default. You can certainly rest assured that they are not going to put your storage back into a new device - it's out of spec for new hardware, and doing so would be a QA and warrantee nightmare.
    – benwiggy
    Jul 11, 2021 at 12:59
  • I was more worried about my lack of visibility into the ecosystem of businesses for recycling and/or recovery of materials. For example, I do not know whether that could be outsourced to an organization outside of country, and whether that leaves room for organizations who actively seek to recover data from parts. To the extent that it is profitable. If they see a lot of such parts, then perhaps they have a setup that makes recovery feasible when it wouldn't otherwise be worthwhile for one-offs. Jul 11, 2021 at 13:39
  • Apple has its own processes for recycling its products. See this video for how they take apart old phones. youtube.com/watch?v=2Bu-gl7v-P8
    – benwiggy
    Jul 11, 2021 at 14:30
  • Thanks! Is there any public info on how material is recovered from the disassembled parts? Are they also recovered internally by Apple rather than outsourced? Jul 11, 2021 at 14:45
  • Apple's environmental credentials are pretty sound. apple.com/uk/environment
    – benwiggy
    Jul 11, 2021 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


Apple is pretty clear that they accept no responsibility on data privacy at the main page.

You are solely responsible for removing all data, including confidential and personal data, from the device prior to shipping. Neither Apple nor the approved partner accepts any responsibility or liability for any lost files or data.

Now, I believe Apple incentivizes all employees and partners to take care and attempt a restore / erase but as you mentioned, your product isn’t amenable to that standard process. Unless you have a specific receipt or different paperwork with respect to handling your device during refurbishment and recycling, it looks like Apple promises very little but likely goes far above what their contract states.

  • Well, I guess that's the sober truth of the matter. No EPRA oversight, no promises, but likely exercises due diligence. Thanks. Jul 11, 2021 at 16:08

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