Gold recycling can help the environment more by reducing damages. To extract one kilogram of gold, 16 tons of carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. While recycling the same amount of gold produces only 53 kg of carbon dioxide. To recycle gold, various sources are used, such as old jewelry, gold used in dentistry, and most importantly, old and damaged electrical equipment, industrial connections, and electrical waste. In dentistry, gold and its alloys containing silver, platinum and palladium are used for tooth restoration and coating. In some cases, the amount of gold used in these alloys is up to 90%.
Electrical waste or scrap is currently one of the most important sources of gold element recycling. A small amount of gold is used in most electronic devices in mobile phones, computers or cars to improve electrical conductivity. For example, the amount of gold that can be recovered from 40 old mobile phones is equivalent to extracting gold from one ton of ore. More than 200 grams of gold are recovered from one ton of computer circuit. It is estimated that about 16% of the world's gold and 22% of silver is used in Japan's technology industry. In the 2020 Olympics, Japan used recycled gold and silver from smartphones and electronic devices to make Olympic medals.