As we’ve written about in the past, modern day electronics contain very small amounts of rare and precious metals.

However, when you consider the number of new products that are produced each year, it becomes a much more significant amount.

Apple has now revealed it recovered 2,204 pounds of gold in 2015 via recycling initiatives.

To put that into perspective – that amount of gold is worth around £30m!

90 Million Pounds of eWaste

The technology giant said in its annual environmental responsibility report: “In 2015, we collected around 90 million pounds of e-waste through our recycling programs.”

They also gained 61,357,800 pounds “of material recovered for reuse through take-back initiatives in 2015.”

“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.”

Silver, Copper, and Steel

Apple didn’t just recover gold, it also recovered 6,612 pounds of silver, 2,953,360 pounds of copper, and 23,101,000 pounds of steel.

Apple said in its report: “We also see a huge opportunity to improve the way we reclaim finite resources from our products.

“Existing recycling techniques, like shredding, only recover a few kinds of materials and often diminish their quality.

“So we invented Liam, a line of robots designed to disassemble 1.2 million phones a year, sorting all their high-quality components and reducing the need to mine more resources from the earth.

“It’s an experiment in recycling technology, and we hope this kind of thinking will inspire others in our industry.”

With all these metals in Apple products alone, figures like this really show how much strain mining the necessary products of electronic consumables has on the Earth. It also highlights how important the re-use and recycling of IT equipment is for a sustainable future.

If you would like to chat to someone at Tier 1 about responsibly recycling your unwanted computers and hardware then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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