Apple recovered two thirds of e-waste collected last year

With new phones, tablets, and laptops coming out all the time, we often upgrade our devices well before we need to. Those devices will get sold, or given to other people, but at some point, they will hit their end of life. And regardless of whether the device just became too old to be useful, or it suffered a catastrophic death, it has to go somewhere. And simply throwing it in the trash isn't a good option.

Apple has been putting some serious effort into reducing e-waste, by recycling old devices and re-using the material. If you go into any Apple store, you can drop off an old, useless Apple product, and they'll send it off to be scrapped. But how effective are their recycling methods? Pretty effective, according to their latest Environmental Responsibility Report.

Since they started their recycling initiative back in 1994, the company states that they have kept 597 million pounds of waste out of landfills. In 2015 alone, they collected 90 million pounds of e-waste. What's really impressive is that more than 61 million pounds of that was able to be reusable. Here's how last year's reusable waste breaks down:

  • 23,101,000 pounds of steel
  • 13,422,360 pounds of plastics
  • 11,945,680 pounds of glass
  • 4,518,200 pounds of aluminum
  • 2,953,360 pounds of copper
  • 189,544 pounds of cobalt
  • 39,672 pounds of nickel
  • 44,080 pounds of lead
  • 130,036 pounds of zinc
  • 4,408 pounds of tin
  • 6,612 pounds of silver
  • 2,204 pounds of gold

Since some of those materials are rather valuable, it's likely that Apple is able to offset the cost of recycling, simply by repurposing those materials.

And thanks to Apple's new robot Liam, they will be able to more efficiently break down iPhones in the future, which will no doubt be helpful in their e-waste recycling program.

VIA: Geek