Apple expands electronic recycling program

April 23, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Apple electronic recycling program
Apple has opened a laboratory in Austin, Texas, that aims to develop new methods of material recovery from electronic equipment and share them with academia and industry.

Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.) has also expanded the number of places where customers can send or hand in their iPhones to be disassembled for recycling. The company already has an industrial robot – called Daisy – that can disassemble and recycle up to 1.2 million used iPhones per year. Apple now includes Best Buy stores in the US and KPN retailers in the Netherlands as well as Apple stores.

Apple has received nearly 1 million pieces of equipment under its recycling scheme and claims that in 2018 it refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and saved 48,000 tons of electronic waste from going to landfill.

The company is recycling materials back into the manufacturing process. In the case of cobalt, batteries from the old iPhones are sent up the supply chain for recovery by battery makers. Similarly, tin is recovered from the circuit boards of some iPhones. And Apple now uses 100 percent recycled aluminum for the cases of its Macbook Air and Macbook mini.

Apple did not indicate what its policy is with regard to reusing packaged integrated circuits.

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