Turning garbage into gold: Tokyo to award e-waste Olympic medals

About 30% of the silver and bronze in medals came from recycled materials for the Rio games

Almost 50,000 tons of devices, including cameras, games consoles and laptops, plus more than five million smartphones, were collected for the Old Metals New Medals project across Japan over 18 months since it opened.

All medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be made from metal collected by recycling electronic waste, games organisers said on Friday.

This means that all of the 2020 Olympic medals will potentially have iPhone and Android parts in them.

The Tokyo Organising Committee said Friday that the goal of collecting over 30kg of gold has been nearly completed, with the necessary amount of precious metals expected to be gathered by the end of March.

Collection of the metals from discarded small devices began in April 2017. In October a year ago, they already had 30.3kg kg of gold and 4 100kg of silver, with them reaching their bronze target in June already (2 700kg).

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Around 47,488 tons of old devices had been collected by October past year, with more than 5m mobile phones handed over.

The sport lost out initially in November 2018 when 14 Olympic and Paralympic sports received the first wave of shares at the launch of the £3 million pot of cash to help support their ambitions to qualify for Tokyo 2020. They hit the target for bronze last June, and by October had more than 90 percent of the gold and 85 percent of the silver.

Inside most smartphones, there are precious metal materials, including gold, silver, and bronze.

Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of a function to felicitate medal winners of the recently-concluded 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, Rathore elaborated on the initiatives, that he feels, have put India on the path of becoming a sporting powerhouse.

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