SAN FRANCISCO, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Apple said Thursday that it will quadruple the number of outlets in the United States where customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by its recycling robot, Daisy.

As part of expanded recycling programs, Apple will increase the number of the locations, including Best Buy stores throughout the country, to help U.S. customers drop their old iPhones for recycling.

Daisy will disassemble used iPhones returned to the Best Buy stores or KPN retailers in the Netherlands, and the customers can also turn in their mobile devices at any Apple Store or through as part of the Apple Trade-In program, said the company.

About 1 million old iPhones have been returned through Apple programs and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year, Apple said.

The Cupertino, California-based company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert over 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills in 2018.

Daisy is able to disassemble 15 different iPhone models at the rate of 200 per hour, Apple said.

Meanwhile, Apple also launched a new, 9,000-square-foot (about 836 square meters) Material Recovery Lab based in Austin, Texas, to explore future recycling processes.

The lab will look for innovative solutions involving robotics and machine learning to improve on traditional methods like targeted disassembly, sorting and shredding, said Apple.

The U.S. tech giant is investing actively in recycling programs to push for an environmentally-friendly and sustainable industry.

Apple said it is using 100 percent recycled tin in a key component of the main logic boards of 11 different products at its manufacturing plants, and the production of its new MacBook Air and Mac mini has halved the emissions of carbon dioxide due to the adoption of recycled aluminum.

"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," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Also on Thursday, Apple released its 2019 Environment Report that outlines its climate change solutions ahead of the Earth Day, which falls on April 22.

Apple said 44 of its suppliers have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for their production of Apple products.