Remember this story from a few days ago? Apple found $40 million in gold from used phones and computers last year Everyone was falling all over themselves to sing Apple's praises, too. CNN, Fox Fortune, etc., were all just gushing about how great Apple was in saving the environment. Guess what? It's not true. Almost Nothing About the ‘Apple Harvests Gold From iPhones’ Story Is True In other words, the recycling laws work a lot like the "carbon tax", and electronic companies make deals with recyclers to meet their mandated recycling goals. Apple didn't really get 40 million in gold. In fact, they most likely lost money in recycling, but made up for it by selling those old iPhones as refurbished models to other countries.