The real reason Apple loves recycling: $40 million of gold recovered

15 April 2016, 02:49

There’s gold in them thar iPhones, says Apple’s 2016 environmental report published yesterday (via BusinessInsider).

In fact, Apple recovered 2,204 pounds of gold via recycling old devices, which BusinessInsider reckons fetched around $40 million at current market rates. Not bad considering the average smartphone contains just 30 milligrams of gold. That’s a lot of recyclin’.

Despite its high price compared to other metals, gold plating is used within circuitboard connectors because of its corrosion-resistant properties. Extraction from old electronic equipment is a growing industry – a quick YouTube search will reveal many industrious individuals who use a variety of methods – typically soaking the boards in chemical solutions – to recover the material, which they then sell.

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