Apple’s recycling push might not be solely about protecting the environment. It seems used devices can also mean big money, with the company recovering an estimated $40 million worth of gold from recycled iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices.
In its environmental report published on Thursday, Apple revealed that it had recovered a staggering 2,204 pounds of gold last year. It also recovered 6,612 pounds of silver, 44,000 pounds of lead, over 4 million pounds of aluminum, and over 23 million pounds of steel!
That gold is contained inside all kinds of components, including circuit boards. According to activist group Fairphone, the average smartphone contains 30mg of it, while devices with larger boards and components — like MacBooks and iMacs — will contain even more.
The Apple Watch Edition contains over 50 grams of 18-karat gold all by itself, however, it’s unlikely Apple will have recycled many of those. But almost all of the devices it did recycle last year will have contained some gold — and it’s worth big money.
“At the current spot price of $1229.80 per troy ounce of gold, Apple recovered just under $40 million in gold from old phones and computers,” reports Business Insider. The recycled silver would have been worth millions, too.
Apple now has an awesome recycling robot called Liam, which is used to pull apart recycled iPhones. It can disassemble an iPhone 6 in just 11 seconds, recovering aluminum, copper, tin, tungsten, cobalt, gold, and silver parts.
[via Business Insider]