Apple Recovered $40 Million Worth Of Gold From Recycled Electronic Devices In 2015

Apple’s “take-back” initiatives seem to be paying off, as the technology giant was able to recover $40 million worth of gold from used electronic devices. With over a million iPhones, iPads, and Macs turned over to the company through the take-back initiatives, the company was able to salvage 2,204 pounds of gold from the used devices. However, it wasn’t just gold that was recovered from the devices.

The Daily Mail reports that in addition to the $40 million worth of gold recovered from the dated Apple devices, the company was also able to recover usable copper, steel and silver. In fact, Apple reveals that they secured 6,612 pounds of silver, 2,953,360 pounds of copper, and 23,101,000 pounds of steel in 2015 from used electronics. However, don’t expect Apple to take the gold to the bank. Instead, the company plans to reuse the precious metals for new products as a way to cut back on the need for mining of new resources.

While they may not be immediately selling the ton of gold secured from the aging devices, the company will likely reap financial benefits from the reusing of old products as they will no longer need to secure as much gold for their flagship iPhone. Instead, the company can reuse the old gold while touting the company’s commitment to the environment without needing to mention the financial gains to the company for reusing the expensive products.

Though the gold is worth a considerable amount on the market, currently trading at more than $1,200 per troy ounce, CNN Money points out that not all of the metals and recyclables have such a high market value. In fact, it was noted that gold was a very small portion of the items recycled from the program, as 90 million pounds of electronics were taken in during the 2015 year as part of the Apple recycling program. Of that 90 million pounds of presumed waste, Apple was able to salvage over 61 million pounds of reusable material. That means that over two-thirds of the waste will be reused by the technology giant, decreasing the amount of waste going into land fills.

In Apple’s 2015 environmental responsibility report, it discusses Apple’s “take-back” initiative and the company’s commitment to keeping electronic devices out of landfills. Instead, the company says they will focus efforts on ensuring customers are utilizing the program so that the materials can be salvaged and reused.

“We strive to leave the world better than we found it, and that means considering everything we do—from the design of our products to the processes we use to make and recycle them. Our passion for innovation is also reflected in how we think about environmental responsibility. Our goal is to make not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world.”

One way Apple hopes to make the best products for the world is by encouraging recycling of old devices that would alternatively end up in land fills.

“We work hard to keep electronic devices out of landfills so that the precious resources they contain can be reused. And we want to ensure that these devices are recycled properly so they don’t pose a threat to human health or the environment. That’s why we’ve developed recycling collection events, take-back initiatives, and efforts like Apple Renew, a global program that lets you bring used Apple devices to any Apple Store for reuse or responsible recycling.”

What do you think about Apple’s initiative to encourage tech users to recycle old or aging products for reuse by the technology giant? Do you think more companies will follow suit after Apple’s successful results?

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