I’ll admit it. I’ve got Olympic fever. I watched about half a dozen events yesterday while attempting to do other work. Aside from the climate changes implications (trucking in snow for the mountain? Really?) and the ongoing protests, it’s been a fun even to watch.
So I was really excited to learn that winning athletes received medals that were designed with the environment in mind.
According to the firm that secured the prestigious deal to make the models, Vancouver-based mining and metals company Teck Resources, the medals will be the first ever to contain metals recovered from processing the circuit boards from electronic waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
Only a small proportion of the metal used in the medals has been recovered from e-waste – accounting for 1.52 per cent of the gold medals, just 0.122 per cent for the silver, and 1.11 per cent of the copper medals that represent bronze.
However, the medals will be the first to contain metals recovered from e-waste and are likely to set a standard for future Games.
“We’re excited that these medals will contain recycled metal recovered from end-of-life electronics, consistent with the sustainability philosophy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Teck’s chief executive Don Lindsay.
The electronic components were shredded, separated and heated to recover the metals, which were combined with mined metal from other sources.