In a recently published 2016 Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple detailed the eco-friendly efforts it undertook over the previous year to protect the natural environment. The company revealed that its managed to recover a thousand kilos worth of gold by recycling old devices.
Gold is used in electronics because it conducts electricity better than copper, but doesn't corrode as easily as silver does. Silver is the best conductor of electricity.
"One of the best ways to use a resource is to reuse it," Apple said in the report. It added that through recycling efforts, the company managed to collect 90 million pounds of e-waste, which, it detailed, amounted to "71 percent of the total weight of the products [Apple] sold seven years earlier."
Apart from collecting 2,204 pounds of gold, Apple details that it also collected over 23 million pounds of steel, over 13 million pounds of plastic, almost 12 million pounds of glass, 3 million pounds of copper and 6 million pounds of silver. It also collected Nickel, Lead, Zinc, Tin and Cobalt through its efforts.
In fact, Apple is so keen on trying to reuse the recycled materials that to improve the efficiency of its e-waste reclamation efforts, it invented Liam, a robot which Apple says can pull apart 1.2 million phones a year and sort components like gold, cobalt and other precious metals.
The Liam prototype is currently operating in test recycling facilities in the U.S. and the Netherlands.