I’ve blogged frequently about e-waste quite a bit in the past, most recently in a post about the “bin” winner of NYC’s 4th Bin design competition. In our gadget- and gizmo-happy age, e-waste is a formidable problem; in 2005 alone, over 2 million tons of discarded electrics entered the waste stream and, as you can image, that figure has jumped over the last few years even though folks are wising up to the fact that old DVD players, laptops, cell phones, and the like deserve special disposal.

Increasingly, crafty recyclers and designers are breathing new life into old electronics. Even Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics is getting into the e-cycle design game: the winning designs for the Winter Games’ gold, silver, and bronze medals have just been revealed and they’re made, most beautifully, out of melted down scrap electronics instead of freshly (and unsustainably) mined precious metals.

Artist/designer Corrine Hunt and industrial designer Orner Arbel collaborated on the design of the medals, the heaviest in Olympics history. The undulating form is meant to resemble the gorgeous landscape of one of my favorite green cities in the world, Vancouver. The unique, beautiful laser-etched art on the medals features an orca (Olympics) and raven (Paralympics). The Royal Canadian Mint will produce each medal.

Take a look … what do you think? Do you think the athletes will appreciate the fact the medals are crafted from circuit board scrap?

Via [Fast Company] and [DesignBoom]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

E-waste goes Olympic
Gold, silver and bronze go green at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver ... the medals will be made from melted electronics.