Apple Announces New Recycling Lab in Austin

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It will be easier than ever for customers to send old iPhone units off for recycling.

Apple announced Thursday that it will quadruple the number of outlets in the United States to recycle used iPhones returned by USA customers, which will be disassembled by its recycling robot, Daisy.

Previous year for Earth Day, Apple took the wraps off of Daisy, a recycling robot that replaced Liam, an iPhone disassembly robot first introduced to the world in 2016. Even if yours is battered, broken and worth nothing on the second-hand market, Apple will take it back and turn it into something new. In total it can disassemble 1.2 million devices in a year.

Apple says it refurbished over 7.8 million of its devices in 2018 and helped reroute more than 48,000 metric tons of e-waste from ending up in landfills. It struck a similar partnership with KPN retailers in the Netherlands. Apple's four software platforms - iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS - provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

Daisy pulls out the iPhone's battery and smaller parts, then recycles the aluminum shell.

U.S. customers can send their iPhones to be disassembled by Daisy which is 33 feet long, has five arms and can methodically deconstruct any of 15 iPhone models.

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For the first time, materials recovered by Daisy are making their way into new Apple products this year.

Apple said 44 of its suppliers have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for their production of Apple products. For example, aluminum the robot extracts from an older iPhone is being reused in new Macbook Air laptops, according to the company.

Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, which provides free fix instructions for electronics, said Apple deserves some credit for making the iPhone reasonable to recycle.

Eligible devices can also be returned to be recycled at any Apple Store or through as part of the Apple Trade In program. The new 9,000-square-foot facility in Austin, Texas, will look for innovative solutions involving robotics and machine learning to improve on traditional methods like targeted disassembly, sorting and shredding. This lab would focus on trying to find solutions to today's industry recycling challenges.

"I absolutely think that the learnings we make there will be for all of Apple, and hopefully for all of our sector, and of course will influence designers and engineers as we go forward", Jackson told Reuters. We don't know what Apple's product will look like yet, but the product, codenamed "B3B9" will also reportedly feature the ability to store your contact information that can be shared on any other nearby Apple device, in case it does get lost.

The rumors about new devices are all over the place on the Internet, so are the suggestions regarding the new iPhone SE 2 from Apple.