According to AppleInsider, Apple has introduced a buy-back scheme as part of its recycling programmes, although only in the US. The company has added an option that pays (via Apple Gift Cards) for old iPhones, iPads, Mac or PC desktop or notebook computers. Apple has contracted with PowerOn to run the programme.
To receive a payment you need to go through a question and answer session on the Apple Reuse and Recycling web page to get a preliminary valuation. If it does have a market value then you can get a shipping label to send it to PowerOn and if PowerOn agrees with the initial assessment the gift card is sent out. (If PowerOn’s final assessment is different you can still get the device back if you prefer, at no charge).
If the product does not have a market value you get a pre-paid shipping label so the product can be sent for ‘responsible recycling’.
Well it all helps. Having a potential value is going to encourage people to at least investigate using the proper channels for reuse and recycling, rather than throwing electronics into the bin.
PowerOn may not necessarily offer the best deal, though - there are now lots of places that buy second-hand phones, games machines, etc, - but the Apple scheme makes it easy. Of course it’s not much use if you don’t want to buy Apple equipment in the future.