For the first time, materials recovered by Daisy are making their way into new Apple products this year. For example, the robot extracts from an older iPhone are being reused in new Macbook Air laptops, according to the company.
"We're almost trying to get the current technology supply chain right now that has not been one of the goals of technology," Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told CNN Business. "Tech is all about getting innovations into the hands of potential customers as fast as possible, and I don't think of lot of people being part of that innovation to using recycled material."
Apple is trying to make it easier for people to get their old iPhones to daisy robots, too. For example, customers can return eligible models to Best Buy stores in the United States or to retailer KPN in the Netherlands, and they will be assigned separately at Daisy. Users can also turn in devices for recycling at Apple stores or online through Apple's Trade In program.
The company is also opening a new "Material Recovery Lab" in Austin, Texas. The 9,000-square foot facility will work to find new ways to recycle using robotics and machine learning. Engineers and academics will work with the lab on testing and research using giant electronic-waste recyclers.
The company is taking a second look at the elements and raw materials it uses to make its products, and researching ways they can be recycled. For example, recycled cobalt is used to make batteries for new Apple products.