As we replace old gadgets with the latest new and shiny, discarded tech can become a massive waste problem. Electronic waste can be quite valuable though, and there have been a number of projects aimed at recovering precious metals from e-trash. Now it appears that Olympic winners in 2020 will be awarded medals made from smashed up phones and cameras.
The Organizing Committee of Tokyo's 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been busy collecting old phones, cameras and other gadgets since April 2017, to smash up and recycle the precious metals into medals. And it's announced that the project is on target to meet its collection and reuse goal by March 2019.
Collection centers were set up across 1,594 municipalities, where around 47,488 tons of discarded gadgetry were dumped as of November last year. At the same time, more than five million smartphones were handed in to some 2,400 NTT Docomo stores across Japan.
As a result, the target amount of metal needed for Olympic bronze medals was already met last June, and as of October 93.7 percent of the gold need and 85.4 percent of silver had been sourced from donated devices.
The design of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics medals will be unveiled in the middle of 2019.
Source: Tokyo 2020
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