On July 10th, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee said that they have collected and refined 5,000 pieces of recycled metals needed for next year’s Olympic and Paralympic medals.
This collection project is called “Urban Mine Production! Everyone’s Medal!” “Urban Mine” refers to the metal contained in the waste electronic equipment, which is recycled in a planned manner, from which available resources can be obtained. The Japanese government has called on the people to participate extensively and donate old mobile phones and home appliances that are not used.
The collection activities began in April 2017. By March of this year, local governments had received nearly 80,000 tons of donated goods. In addition, Japanese telecommunications operator NTT Como stores collected 6.2 million mobile phones. A total of 32 kg of gold, 3,500 kg of silver and 2,200 kg of copper were extracted from all the collected household appliances.
It is the first attempt in the history of the Olympics to produce medals using metals extracted from small electronic devices such as used mobile phones.
The Tokyo Olympic medal design is scheduled to be released on July 24, 2019, and the Paralympic medal design is expected to be released on August 2019.