Apple’s ninth annual Environmental Responsibility Report summarises the company’s work on its three environmental priorities of renewable energy, safer materials & processes and conserving resources. As part of the third of those, the company revealed that its recycling program last year recovered 89 million pounds of materials – Business Insider noting that this included a cool $40M worth of gold.
Gold is commonly used in circuit boards because it has low electrical resistance and, unlike copper, doesn’t corrode. In most applications, a thin layer of gold covers a thicker layer of copper – which was a second valuable material recovered by Apple …
Almost three million pounds of copper was recycled – worth over $6M – along with silver, nickel, aluminum, steel, lead, zinc, tin, cobalt, glass and plastics.