The recovered material included 23.1 million pounds of steel, 13.4 million pounds of plastics, 11.9 million pounds of glass, 4.5 million pounds of aluminum, 3 million pounds of copper, 190,000 pounds of copper, 130,000 pounds of zinc, 44,000 pounds of lead, 40,000 pounds of nickel, 6,600 pounds of silver, 4,400 pounds of tin and 2,200 pounds of gold.
Apple takes part in 25 states’ extended producer responsibility programs, as well as creating their own recycling programs throughout other states and internationally, including mail-back and in-store collection opportunities.
Along with details of 2015 e-scrap recycling efforts, the report updated readers on Liam, Apple’s new robot designed to disassemble iPhones. Liam prototypes are currently in use in California and the Netherlands, and are estimated to disassemble up to 1.2 million iPhones each year.
While the amount of recovered e-waste in Apple’s report is substantial, there is the question of how much of this recycling was actually conducted by Apple. Vice reporter Jason Koebler took a closer look at the reported numbers and reported very little of the recycling was done by the company itself, and the majority of collected materials came from states with manufacturer-funded e-scrap programs.