2010 Olympic Medals Are Made From Old Electronics

Olympic medal

The winning designs for Vancouver's 2010 Olympic medals have been revealed: the gold, silver, and bronze medals will all be made from melted-down electronics.

Olympic medal

Canadian designer Corrine Hunt's medals are laser-etched, so no two are the same. The orca-whale themed pieces also feature an undulating design meant to invoke the Vancouver landscape.

Olympic medal

The Vancouver Olympics made a smart choice in deciding to use precious metals from old electronics. By salvaging medal materials from old products, the Olympic committee is saving perfectly good gold, silver, and bronze from ending up in landfills. Because it makes no sense to mine for new gold when a single junked PC has more of the stuff in it than 17 tons of ore. And if the medals are promoted well, they could bring awareness to the cause of recycled scrap. With the entire world watching what happens at the Olympic games, there is no better venue to promote such an important--and easy-to-implement--solution to electronics recycling

[Via Gizmodo]

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2 Comments

  • Elizabeth Kuehnen

    This is an excerpt from a Canadian newspaper - looks like only less than 1% of the metals came from recycled materials:

    'Official metals supplier Teck Resources provided 2.05 kilograms of gold, 1,950 kilograms of silver and 903 kilograms of copper to produce 615 Olympic and 399 Paralympic medals for the 2010 Games.
    The metal came from Teck operations in B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland, Alaska, Peru and Chile. A small portion of the metal — less than one per cent — came from recycled consumer electronics products, such as cellphones and computers.'

    While it is popular to post on environmentally friendly topics, please do some more research in order to give the full picture. I agree that it's great that they did use some portion of recycled materials, but 99% of the metals used are from raw materials.

    Find the full Ottowa Citizen article here: http://bit.ly/4eBmRy