- Apple's annual report shows that through robust recycling efforts, the company recovered 61 million pounds of steel, glass, aluminum, and other industrial materials from old computers and smartphones in 2015. This includes 2,204 pounds of gold worth almost $40 million, as reported in Tech Times.
- The gold salvaged from one desktop Mac computer is worth as much as $9; a golden Apple Watch contains more than 50 grams of 18-karat gold; and one iPhone contains about $1 worth of gold.
- Apple is one of several large companies that, in 2015, committed to donate a collective $140 billion to cut carbon emissions through recycling.
The overall global electronic waste market is projected to reach $5.04 billion by 2020, reaping benefits from returns on copper, aluminum, gold, silver, plastic, and glass.
Apple is leading the pack by recycling millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches annually. These devices add up in volume, weight, and value in gold and other precious metals, as shown in Apple's latest revenue figures.
There could someday be a more economical and easier way to extract gold and metals from devices, which would not only bring money back to the companies, but will also have a huge environmental impact by reducing carbon footprint. Researchers in Canada recently discovered an innovative way to accomplish both of these goals. While the technology has not yet been brought to market, Apple actually has developed its own robot that is working to efficiently and cost-effectively extract metals and parts from its iPhones.