Apple has announced on the eve of Earth Day an expansion of its recycling programme, offering free computer take-back and recycling with the purchase of a new Macintosh system beginning in June.

"US customers who buy a new Mac through the online Apple Store or Apple’s retail stores will receive free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of their old computer as part of the Apple Recycling programme", the company said in a statement.

“Apple is committed to supporting our customers and protecting the environment throughout the entire product life cycle, from purchase through to retirement”, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Now we are making it even easier for Apple’s customers to safely and affordably recycle their used computers and iPods.”

Apple also announced that the fifth generation iPod, iPod nano and iPod shuffle are 100 per cent compliant with the upcoming restrictions of hazardous substances (RoHS) in California and Europe, which are recognised as the new global standard for environmental regulation.

In addition, iPod power adapters now exceed Energy Star efficiency requirements and already meet California’s stricter appliance efficiency regulations, which are scheduled to take effect July 1st, 2008.