Tokyo 2020: Medals to be made from recycled waste

Olympic organizers said they expect to collect enough obsolete electronic devices to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals

Modal Trigger Olympic organizers said they expect to collect enough obsolete electronic devices to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals. AP

The Organizing Committee of Tokyo's 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been busy collecting old phones, cameras and other gadgets since April 2017, to smash up and recycle the precious metals into medals.

The decision to launch the new fund is widely seen as a softening of the elite sport body's "no compromise" approach, under which only sports with an expectation of winning a medal at Olympic or Paralympic Games receive support.

There was "huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and global athletes", said the committee.

The committee launched its appeal for unwanted smartphones, cameras, laptops, handheld games consoles and other electronics in April 2017, which was met with "huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and worldwide athletes", it claimed.

Over $3 million worth of metals have been collected from more than 5 million devices, most of which were handed in at NTT Docomo stores.

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So far, Tokyo's committee reached its bronze incentive, but it still around six percent off its 30.3 kg gold target and 15 percent of its 4,100 kg silver goal.

The designs for the medals for both Games are due to be revealed later in 2019. As of the end of October, the project had collected 93.7 percent of the gold and 85.4 percent of the silver required.

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

"We have very clearly and very professionally divided our working between grassroots and elite sportspersons".

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