Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. It’s getting smaller. It’s getting lighter. It’s getting faster. It’s getting smarter. More than half the world’s population is using the internet, and by 2020, there could be 50 billion digitally connected devices.
The result of all this accelerated technological advancement is the speed with which our technology becomes obsolete. Whether we’re replacing an old mobile phone, upgrading to a faster laptop or swapping a console television for a slimmer, lighter model, our technology is constantly advancing and evolving.
Fortunately, the technological drive producing these electronics is also leading to more effective ways of recycling them. While traditional mining is labour intensive, recovering resources from e-waste is efficient and effective. Many of the resources in our electronics, including plastic, glass, gold, silver, copper and palladium, can be reused continuously without losing their properties. The environmental benefits of electronics recycling are huge and help contribute to our shared sustainable future.
Even the Olympics are getting on board. The Vancouver Olympics in 2010, featured medals containing 1.5 per cent gold, silver and bronze recovered from end-of-life electronics. For the Olympics in Rio in 2016, the total reached 30 per cent. The medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 will be made from 100 per cent materials recovered from end-of-life electronics.
Recycling our old, broken or obsolete electronics helps reduce our ecological footprint. The Recycle My Electronics program has a network of more than 2,300 drop-off locations throughout the country to ensure electronics are recycled safely and securely.