Apple’s Recycling program recovered 89 Million pounds of Material

Lately, Apple has been setting the standard for recycling recently with its vigorous efforts in the field. The company’s ninth annual Environmental Responsibility Report was recently released which shows exactly how much impact, Apple is making in the recycling department. It also summarizes the company’s entire work in providing renewable energy, conserving resources, and working with safer materials and processes.

These are the three top environmental priorities of the company. The report also shows how much material has been recycled by Apple. The company successfully recovered 89 million pounds of materials last year which includes 2,204 pound of gold that is worth nearly $40 million. According to Fairphone, an average smartphone contains about 30 mg of gold.


Gold has a low electrical resistance and is used in circuit boards because of this. Unlike copper, gold also doesn’t corrode. So, in most device components where copper is used it is covered by a thin layer of gold to prevent corrosion. Moreover, nearly three million pounds of copper was recycled and recovered by the company. The recovered copper is worth over $6 million.  Other materials that were recycled include silver, aluminium, nickel, steel, lead, zinc, tin, cobalt, glass and plastics.

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Apple showed off an iPhone recycling robot last month. The robot is called Liam. It is capable of taking apart 1.2 million iPhones a year. This robot was one of the tools used by Apple last year.

Apple is also working on a campaign for Earth Day. The campaign will be raising money for the World Wide fund for nature. It will also include iPad-based Earth Day lessons for students.

Apple is making a formidable effort in the recycling department. Especially considering that recycling the devices is not free. However, some or even all of recycling costs might be recovered in the shape of reusable materials. It is clear that the company isn’t doing this only for positive PR. The recycling program is turning out to be a  profitable business venture. It will also help the company run its operations in a sustainable way.

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