Tokyo is scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which the event’s management team has decided to create the prize medals out of recycled and recovered metal from collected electronic waste. Around 47 and a half tons of e-waste was collected for the medals and the committee is happy to share that it’s well on track with its plan, having collected enough wasted electronic devices to salvage the bronze, silver, and gold needed for the Olympic medals next year.
Japan has an abundant technology industry as well as people who keep up with the latest gadgets, discarding their older ones. When the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics team decided to take on the initiative of recycling e-waste for the medals, they were in need of dire support from the community and volunteers to both donate and help collect discarded electronics to be processed for metal extraction.
With the help of all the local community districts, as well as immense support from big time celebrities, athletes, companies, and corporations, the initiative gained enough momentum to reel in unprecedented amounts of e-waste being put forward to good use.
Of the 47,488 tons of electronic waste collected thus far, there are approximately 5 million smartphones that were submitted to the nation’s NTT Docomo retail offices alone. Besides this point of contact, post offices, other technology retail stores, public locations, and common centrals were either turned into collection centers or set up with stalls to collect the smartphones on behalf of the Olympics management team.
To create the medals, the team estimated a requirement of 2,700 kg of bronze, 4,100 kg of silver, and 30.3 kg of Gold, of which all of the bronze was collected by the start of last summer, over 85% of the silver has been collected till date, and over 90% of the Gold has been collected as well.
The management team behind this venture has till the 31st of March to collect all the e-waste needed to salvage the necessary quantities of precious metal for the prize medals. The statistics above are what ha been known since the team’s last announcement regarding the percentage of metals salvaged till October of last year.
A goal completion announcement hasn’t come forward about silver or gold yet but given the amount that has already been collected, there exist several more tons of waste for the recycling facilities to sort through and extract more metal from.
The committee will be unveiling the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medal designs sometime in the summer this year. In await of the upcoming design, take a look at the last 10 Olympic and Paralympic medals of this century.
Here are the designs for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games.
Here are the designs for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The designs for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Designs for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The designs for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
Designs for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The designs for the 2006 Torino Olympic Games.
Here are the designs for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Here are the designs for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
The designs for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.