Metals for Medals
Ever wonder what your recycled electronic devices do when they retire?
The organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo do.
They are making the medals from recycled metals from electronic devices.
The project started in 2017. To collect enough electronic waste, including old smartphones and laptops. The aim was to collect 30.3kg of gold, 4,100kg of silver and 2,700kg of bronze.
All recycled metal collected was from the Japanese public. As well as businesses and industries.
By November 2018, they had collected the 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices. With the public handing in another five million used phones to a local network provider.
With more than 90 percent of Japan’s local authorities participating. They collected a total of 78,985 tons of discarded devices. A haul which included approximately 6.21 million used mobile phones. Other items collected were digital cameras, handheld games and laptops. The devices were then classified, dismantled and melted down by trained contractors.
They reached the goal before the collection cycle closed on 31 March 2019.