Apple makes $40 million from gold it recovers from old devices


Apple has revealed how it recovered almost a ton of gold in a year from old recycled Macs, iPhones and iPads.

Apple has a recycling program whereby it pays cash on old devices which are either stripped down and precious metals extracted or refurbished and resold.

The old and unwanted devices were returned to the company in 2015 where small amounts of gold – used in many consumer electronic devices because it does not corrode easily and is an excellent conductor – was removed.

It is estimated the reclaimed gold netted the company almost $40 million. As well as gold, more than 3,000kgs of silver, 1.4 million kgs of copper, 2 million kgs of aluminium and a whopping 10.4 million kgs of steel was also recovered.

In its latest Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple said: “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.

“Through our efforts, we’ve kept more than 597 million pounds of equipment out of landfills since 1994. In 2015, we collected nearly 90 million pounds of e-waste through our recycling programs. That’s 71 per cent of the total weight of the products we sold seven years earlier.”

Apple added that it is helping suppliers in China and other countries to use clean energy in its production and said that it aims to use 100 percent renewable energy to power Apple facilities throughout the world.



1 Comment

  1. Jony Monkeyseed on

    Actually, this was a brilliant plan started several years ago with a global goal to remove used apple products from the market. You see– all used Apple products are waste; and none are fit to be re-sold. When Apple began recycling, it was in the interest of creating shareholder value in a OS and software reality that mac hardware sales are more important and applicable than software features. This rings especially true when the Mac software included with the OS doesn’t do much more than Windows 10. Apple users have to be more integrally tied to the ecosystem with fewer choices to switch.

    When last-year’s model iPads, iPhones, and Macs are removed from secondary markets and no longer available for Apple customers to re-sell, customers will have no other choice but to buy a new device at full-price. This benefits shareholders.

    The best part about it is that it shows Tim Cook can’t create features that would attract customers into purchasing a new device.