Apple recycling program recovered $40 million worth of gold last year
You’re old/busted/broken iPhone might not be worth much to you, but it’s worth something to Apple; Apple’s recycling program recovered nearly $40 million worth of gold from discarded apple products last year.
Apple released its annual environmental responsibility report, on Thursday, with details of how much the company has managed to save from being discarded in landfills. In all, Apple saved 61,357,800 pounds of raw material that will be reused. Apple has also kept 597 million pounds of scrap out of landfills since 1994.
Among this year’s haul of recycled material was, 23 million pounds of steel, 13.4 million pounds of plastics, and nearly 12 million pounds of glass. But probably the biggest score 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, Liam, which is capable of disassembling 1.2 million iPhones a year and saving valuable materials from each cellphone. Many of the parts stripped from old iPhones are resources that are in scarce supply. Harvesting more resources can exacerbate troubling situations, including funding ongoing conflicts in war-torn countries where most of the materials are 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.