Gabriel Freytez / CC0

Apple has accused its former recycling partner GEEP Canada of reselling over 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches, and has filed a lawsuit against the recycling company for it. The American smartphone giant is seeking at least $22.7 million from GEEP Canada in the lawsuit filed.

Apple had formed a partnership with the Canadian recycling firm GEEP in 2015 to help reduce its e-waste and further its goal of improving its environmental practices. GEEP, a recycling firm, was responsible for recovering valuable material from used Apple devices by de-assembling them. However by 2018, Apple grew suspicious of GEEP’s activities, suspecting that instead of de-assembling, the recycling firm has been reselling the devices. As a result, Apple never approached GEEP Canada again for its recycling needs.

However, it seems like there is more to this story, as a report by The Logic states that Apple is now suing the company for malpractices. The report claims that between January 2015 and December 2017, GEEP Canada received over 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches from Apple to be recycled. However, after an inspection by the company, it discovered that 18% of these devices (about 100,000) were still online and running. Moreover, these numbers do not take Wifi only devices into consideration, which means that the actual number of illegally resold devices can be much higher.

Apple, in the complaint, has mentioned, “At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed”.

The Canadian recycling firm has denied the allegations but has admitted to the accusation of theft. To clarify, GEEP claims that three of its employees stole Apple devices for their own benefit, and it had nothing to do with the corporation itself. The company has also filed a third-party suite for the same.

However, Apple has countered by saying that these three employees are senior executives at GEEP and thus, the firm should be held responsible.

Apple has now developed its own recycling units called Dave and Daisy, that can recover or recycle valuable materials on a used device that regular recycling firms can’t.