Administrators have announced that Japan is planning to improve recycling processes. They will be attempting to craft the 2020 Olympic medals out of recycled materials. Rather than mine for the precious metals that make up the gold, silver, and bronze medals, they will instead look to their immense electronic waste stores.
Approximately 21 pounds of gold, 2,670 pounds of silver and 1,540 pounds of copper were needed for the London Olympics in 2012. Brazil also used some recycled materials in their medals, mostly for the silver medals and ribbons. Japan has a strong technology driven culture which should make it fairly simple to meet their goal and have plenty of cell phones and electronics to process.
Japan still does not have an established program for the public to direct electronic waste. They are currently recycling less than 25% of their outdated tech. With 4 years to plan the process of refining the raw materials for the medals, they should be able to make great advances in other aspects of their recycling initiatives.