Tokyo 2020 Olympics a step closer to making medals from recycled gadgets

Olympic organizers said they expect to collect enough obsolete electronic devices to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games' plan to make gold, silver and bronze medals using recycled electronic waste (e-waste) looks obtainable, according to Tokyo's organizing committee.

A Tokyo recycling program thought it would be only natural to mine the precious metals needed to create the 2020 Olympic awards from old electronics, including smartphones (via The Verge).

Tokyo Olympic organizers say they expect to collect enough obsolete electronic devices by the end of March to reach the amount that will be required to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals.

Collection of the metals from discarded small devices began in April 2017.

The target for bronze was met last June, while the organisers had more than 90% of the gold and 85% of the silver by October.

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The release from organisers confirmed that over five million mobile phones had been handed in, contributing to nearly 50,000 tons of devices.

The designs for the meals will be unveiled in summer 2019, ahead of the games kicking off on 24 July 2020.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, about 30 per cent of the silver and bronze in medals came from recycled materials.

It managed to extract the 2,700kg of copper (used to make bronze) required for its medal haul by June 2018, and had reached 93.7 per cent of its 30.3kg gold and 85.4 per cent of its 4,100kg silver goals by October a year ago.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has promised "surgical" precision in distribution of funds to athletes preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games, asserting that centralisation of the process has made bureaucratic hurdles a thing of past.

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