Vancouver 2010 medals will be made from electronic waste

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Medals for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver will contain gold, silver, and copper from recycled TVs, computers, and keyboards that might otherwise have ended up as e-waste.

The Canadian company Teck is the exclusive supplier of the metals used in the production of the more than 1,000 medals to be awarded at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The 2010 medals are making medal history as the first to contain metals recovered from processing the circuit boards of end-of-life electronics otherwise destined for the landfill.

Historically, metal for the medals has been sourced only from mineral deposits that are mined from the earth and refined for commercial use. Teck has created a recycling process to recover metals contained in cathode ray tube glass, computer parts, and circuit boards.

To make the 2009 Olympic medals, the gold, silver, and copper recovered from end-of-life electronics were then combined with metal from other sources. According to Teck, the content of recovered metal from e-waste material in the specific medals is: Gold: 1.52 percent; Silver: 0.122 percent; Copper: 1.11 percent.

2010 Olympic medals are being produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. They feature contemporary Aboriginal artwork by Corrine Hunt, a Canadian designer of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage.