June 2015 | Nate Pedersen

Extremely Rare Apple Computer Dropped Off at Recycling Center

Wikipedia Commons

It pays to work in recycling in Silicon Valley.

Last month, a woman dropped off a box of electronics at Clean Bay Area, a Silicon Valley recycling firm. Included in the box was an Apple I computer, hand-built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Jobs' garage in 1976. These extremely rare computers are highly collectable. In 2013, an Apple I sold at auction for $671,400.

The recycling firm discovered the Apple I two weeks later when it sorted through the donated box. The company promptly sold the computer for $200,000 to a private collector. Clean Bay Area is now looking for the woman who dropped off the box. Per company policy, they would like to share half of the proceeds with her. In other words, they have a check waiting for her for $100,000.

The problem? She didn't leave a name or take a receipt for her material. The hope is that she hears about the money through media channels.

In the meantime, take an extra glance through your box of castoffs before you make your next donation.