Photo via Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

Apple recycling program recovered $40 million worth of gold last year

That's gold, Apple. Gold!

Feb 29, 2020, 8:37 am*



AJ Dellinger

You’re old iPhone might not be worth much to you, but it’s worth quite a bit to Apple; the company’s recycling program recovered nearly $40 million worth of gold from discarded devices last year.

On Thursday, Apple released its annual environmental responsibility report, complete with details of just how much the company has managed to keep from ending up in a landfill. In total, Apple saved 61,357,800 pounds of material that will be reused. It has kept 597 million pounds of equipment out of landfills since 1994.

Among this year’s haul was 23 million pounds of steel, 13.4 million pounds of plastics, and nearly 12 million pounds of glass. But one of the biggest score in terms of value was Apple’s collection of scrapped gold; it saved 2,204 pounds of the precious metal, valued at $39,502,000 according to a calculation by Business Insider.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced its recycling robot named Liam, which is capable of disassembling 1.2 million iPhones a year and saving valuable materials from the devices. Many of the parts stripped from scrapped iPhones are limited resources that are in scarce supply. Harvesting more can exacerbate troubling situations, including funding ongoing conflicts in war-torn countries where the materials are often found.

Scoring a considerable amount of reusable material wasn’t Apple’s only big achievement in its ongoing effort to lessen its environmental footprint; the company also reported it avoided sending 335,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere with its renewable energy programs, which is the equivalent of 359,828,142 pounds of coal not burned.


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*First Published: Apr 15, 2016, 3:31 pm