Apple enters electronics recycling business

Liam, the recycling robot; photo: Apple
Photo: Apple
23.03.2016 − 

The technology group Apple has entered the e-waste recycling sector. The company presented a robotic system able to take apart an iPhone 6 in eleven seconds at the start of this week. On an annual basis, the system can disassemble over 1.2 million handsets, according to Apple. Metals such as aluminium, copper, cobalt, gold and silver contained in the devices are to be recycled.

The robot began operation at full capacity at a site near the group’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, last month. Smartphones collected within the US in Apple stores or sent in by mail for disposal are to be disassembled and recycled there.

Before the end of this year, the technology group plans to start operating a recycling robot for iPhone 6 handsets at a site in Europe. The robotic system is to be expanded and adapted in order to enable it to dismantle other handsets. The company does not plan to sell the robot to external electronic waste recyclers.

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