Innovative South American utilitarian artists come up with novel ways to deal with growing e-waste problem
As businesses become increasingly aware of their obligations when disposing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), individuals are finding novel ways to recycle old electronic equipment such as turning them into waste bins or even stools.
e-Waste Bins and WEEE Stools
J Edson Azvedo has found a different way of recycling old plastic television and CRT monitor shells by converting them into litter bins. Azvedo came up with the idea when a neighbour gave him some old monitors and he decided to put them to use in his local community in Brazil.
He turned it into a community project, placing bins around his neighbourhood to clean up the area and it has even been suggested that they could be used as specific e-waste bins for electronic items and batteries which need recycling.
In Chile, another novel idea has come from Rodrigo Alonso, who decided to turn some WEEE into a stool. Alonso creates blocks of e-Waste formed from discarded hardware such as circuit boards, mice and cables. Disused equipment is placed into a mould and is then ‘fossilised’ using a clear epoxy resin to form a cube which, when polished, can be sat on.
Although these ideas may not be the most economical or practical, they are examples of what can be done with electronic waste, which is often exported to the Third World, where it is often disposed of in an unsafe manner.
The European Union (EU) has moved to tighten regulations on the disposal of electronic waste in Europe, but its relatively low targets have been branded as ‘pathetic’ by critics. It has also emerged that UK businesses are being overcharged to the tune of £50 million a year as regulations fail to recognise an increase in the price of commodities.