Tokyo 2020 Medals - A WEEE Recycling Success Story
At CCL (North) Ltd. we are always fascinated by effective recycling processes and what can be built from the recycled components. Our planet has a finite amount of certain elements, metals, and resources and by creating new items from old, we can reduce disposal and recycling costs and save important resources.
We love to see everything from new technology to art being created with recycled electronic and IT equipment. This has been a growing focus in Tokyo, where there has been an ambitious project to create all medals for this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games from recycled waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). With an estimated 5,000 medals required in total, this posed a significant challenge to organisers.
At the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, it was reported that approximately 30% of the silver and bronze used for all medals came from recycled materials, so the Tokyo 2020 target of 100% is ambitious. Starting in 2017, the project set targets to recover 30.3kg of gold, 4,100kg of silver, and 2,700kg of bronze from smartphones, laptops, and other electronic recycled equipment. By June 2019, the target for bronze collection was completed, with approximately 90% of gold and 85% of silver collected by October 2019 (BBC News, 2020). The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee themselves estimated that by March 2019, 79,000 tonnes of electronic devices, including approximately 6.2 million old phones, had been donated & collected.
In April 2017, when the project started, there were 624 participating municipal authorities in Japan handling WEEE waste collection; by March 2019 this was 1,621. As the eyes of the world turn to Tokyo for the games, this is a fantastic example of how one high profile project can have a long-term, positive impact on sustainable living and environmental protection. The country has united to embrace electronic waste recycling and sustainable re-purposing of electronic equipment.
At CCL (North) Ltd. we are committed to safe and environmentally friendly WEEE recycling and IT disposal. Electronic waste might not serve its primary function any more, however this does not make it useless. As companies retire IT systems, the materials can be recycled for future use, and we encourage all industries to implement appropriate WEEE recycling & IT disposal protocols. Contact us today to arrange a call and see how we can help with your WEEE recycling.