The technology giant has said its robots, each known as Daisy, were now capable of taking apart 1.2 million devices a year as part of processes to recover materials for re-use.
The robots are now able to disassemble 15 different iPhone models at a rate of 200 an hour, Apple said, and 100 percent recycled tin was now a key component in the circuit boards of 11 different products.
The announcements were made as the company published its latest environment report, where it confirmed 44 of its suppliers had committed to using 100 percent renewable energy for their Apple production.
The firm’s new Material Recovery Lab, to be opened in Austin, Texas, will look for “innovative solutions involving robotics and machine learning to improve on traditional methods like targeted disassembly, sorting and shredding”.
The company’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said: “Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward.
“We work hard to design products that our customers can rely on for a long time. When it comes time to recycle them, we hope that the convenience and benefit of our programs will encourage everyone to bring in their old devices.”
Apple said it would also mark Earth Day on April 22 with a number of environmentally-themed Today at Apple sessions – seminar-style free events held inside Apple retail stores.