Did you know that over 50 million tons of electronic waste are dumped annually? What is concerning is the fact that only 20% of this E-waste is recycled. The increase in technology overruns the market with new electronic equipment constantly. UN experts estimate that, at this rate, the amount of E-waste will hit the 120 million ton mark by 2052. It has become paramount to find a way to recycle this electronic waste and prevent it from leaching into the environment. The idea is to find ways of reusing E-waste in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
What You Need to Know About E-waste
The U.S, China, and Japan produce the most electronic waste. These countries combined produce almost 50% of global E-waste annually. The U.S and China alone dump over 15 million tons, with Japan about 3 million tons. The discovery is that this waste is quite valuable. According to U.N experts, a ton of electronic waste contains 100 times more gold than a similar quantity of gold ore. The value of electronic waste goes beyond $60 billion annually.
What Is E-waste?
Before going any further, it is critical to understand what E-waste is and why it is relevant to modern life. Electronic waste is any electrical or electronic device you don’t use anymore. This includes anything from your mobile phone to an old T.V. Any electronic device that no longer functions as required falls under this category. The issue here is that most of this E-waste does not get recycled. About 80% ends up in landfills and incinerators, and part of it gets imported to developing countries. Here lies the dilemma.
While electronic waste has some valuable components, some elements are harmful. Compounds such as cathode ray tubes are hazardous to the environment. This means that the best course of action to avoid adverse outcomes is to recycle electronic waste. Recycling protects the environment and prevents exposure to high-level contaminants. Note that these toxic components can cause health problems. Although advances in IT and networking equipment benefit society, it has also caused an increase in electronic waste. End-of-life electronics are rapidly becoming obsolete. As this happens, more electronic waste is dumped into the environment due to inadequate recycling activities.
This necessitates the implementation of effective recycling structures. The United Nations estimates that electronic waste will reach 61 tons by 2023. It is critical to note that recycling is the best alternative for people and the environment. The U.S leads the process of E-waste recycling through statutes and legislation. Currently, over 25 states require electronic waste recycling for medium and large-scale product manufacturers. These policies demand that companies pay for recycling costs. The idea is to facilitate large-scale manufacturing where used equipment dealers can ship their electronic waste back to manufacturers for recycling.
There are several other ways that E-waste can be utilized. Artists around the world are now using various components to create masterpieces. This practice has been around for a while. With the increase in electronic waste, it has become necessary to devise ways of preventing this waste from becoming a problem.
How Artists Create Masterpieces Out of E-waste
The philosophy of modern electronic waste art is to provide an avenue for recycling. Most artists use the end-of-life electronic parts to come up with various art pieces. These masterpieces use everything from intricate electronic components to toy cars and common household appliances. The idea is to create meaningful artwork from electronic waste and encourage ingenuity in the recycling process.
While most people don’t see value in discarded electronic waste, artists see the potential for creative arts. Creative arts use tech devices, discarded mobile phones, and old computer parts as primary components in creating unique art pieces. The process involves using e-waste as a medium to produce high-level artwork while championing recycling simultaneously. Artists develop incredible art structures through this practice and see beauty in things most people see as waste. The usefulness of electronic waste is manifested in these artworks and shows an intimate relationship between man and the need to protect the environment.
The creation of art from electronic waste promotes healthy living by eliminating the risk of exposure to toxic waste. It also protects the environment by reducing the amount of e-waste dumped in landfills and incinerators. These creations used recycled electronic junk to produce captivating art pieces. Most of this artwork has monetary value. The idea that an artist can benefit from electronic waste is an excellent incentive.
The up-scaling of electronic waste also acts as a way of raising awareness of the importance of recycling. Not only does it protect the environment, but it also reduces exposure to dangerous toxins. Artists use reclaimed capacitors, waste circuit boards, and connector pins to create beautiful sculptures in various colors and patterns. The use of custom fabrication also facilitates an intricate system where the artist can develop breathtaking art and valuable jewelry design.
It has become evident that creativity has no limits. Unwanted electronic waste can now be transformed into wearable art using beautiful designs. Artists are contributing to recycling efforts by transforming everyday waste into modern art. Contemporary art manifests how creativity can be used to protect the environment. Artists transform recycled electronic waste into one-of-a-kind masterpieces every day. The creative minds are tackling e-waste head-on and utilizing their genius to produce quality artwork.
Artists use electronic waste to recreate famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa, and some use it to redesign car exteriors. There is no limit to what creativity can achieve in this modern age. The driving force here is the quest for humans to reduce their ecological footprint and be mindful of the threat electronic waste poses to the environment. Resource recycling has plenty of economic value. Large companies have seen the value of electronic waste artwork and are now assisting in the collection process.
Ways Artists Are Converting E-waste Into Art
E-waste has inspired creative works all over the globe. Places such as the U.S, India, and parts of Africa have developed excellent art pieces in the last few years. Most of these pieces are developed to create awareness of the dangers of E-waste and how best to recycle it. The idea is to convince more people to recycle and reduce the amount of waste filling up landfills.
Recycling E-waste is a huge challenge for many industries. An example of E-art is a work produced by Von Wong. This artist used electronic waste to develop new and more effective computer parts. His idea led to using electronic waste to make parts for Dell computer companies. This company currently utilizes a number of recycled components in its new generation computers and helps tremendously in the recycling process. It is a step in the right direction that has fueled the quest to use waste to improve performance.
Other creative artists have followed suit by using electronic waste in their work. Another artist, Gabriel Dishaw, a sculptor, creates lifelike statues from electronic waste. He uses metal and mechanical objects that bring new life to machines. The practice involves using old computers that would end up in landfills. His work also repurposes e-waste and raises awareness of the importance of recycling. This quest is essential in the process of making environmentally friendly artwork.
Other artists such as Peter McFarlene have joined the bandwagon. This artist creates beautiful pieces using old computer parts such as circuit boards. He makes paintings and sculptures with backstories and drives his work beyond the limits of creativity. The aim is to challenge people’s perception of e-waste and to show the world how recycled parts can be functional. This artist also encourages people to think beyond the unsettling risks of waste and how best to put it to good use. He goes beyond the boundaries of critical thought and develops works of art from electronic components.
Another example of famous e-waste artwork is the tower of Babel in Beijing. Crafted by Shen Bolun, this piece is an excellent example of how creativity can champion the quest for environmental preservation. It is the first of many Green-peace campaigns occurring worldwide and is an example of how art has come a long way. The tower of Babel is shaped like a cell tower and made from old mobile phones and other electronic waste components. The phones are attached to a metal frame and synchronized to flash different colors. The phone screens emit beautiful lights and work together to produce an eye-catching statement. This tower is breathtaking and provides a great view, especially at night. This is another example of how e-waste is recycled with a bit of creativity.
The Shine initiative in Ghana has also begun encouraging the locals to turn their waste into high-end furniture. This company is one of many across the globe helping to reduce the amount of electronic waste in the environment. The Shine initiative designs several items from old electronic devices and is a hub for design thinking. It has found creative ways to convert waste into functional mechanisms and produce usable furniture. This initiative aims to encourage the populace to turn in old, end-of-date electronic waste to preserve the environment. Many of the population support this program and are now finding new ways to help the fight against electronic waste.
Some notable innovations include a grandfather clock and a car axle made from parts of a discarded wall clock. This creative work is beautiful to look at and functional at the same time. Major companies in the country are bidding to own this clock. Large companies are buying into the idea and helping to spread awareness of the importance of effective recycling and how crucial it is to protect the environment.
India has also begun the quest of using e-waste to create masterpieces. As one of the largest generators of e-waste, this country now uses rubbish to generate revenue. An example is the Mumbai e-waste lion. This process began in 1999 with the creation of a life-size Volkswagen beetle. The industry has grown substantially since then, with the clock towers and flamboyance of flamingoes also making headlines.
The Volkswagen beetle uses thousands of scrap metals, including 60 motherboards, 800 sparkplugs cassettes, and typewriters. It also includes other waste materials such as bottle caps, pens, and barbeque sticks. This life-size electronic waste car is an example of just how creativity helps the recycling process. It is a beautiful artwork considered one of India’s best works.
The flamboyance of flamingoes is also a notable piece. Constructed from automobile parts, headlights, and shock absorbers these sculptures also function as street lights. It commemorates the legendary migration of flamingoes in the area and is a critical part of local heritage. The creator’s primary aim is to encourage people to use electronic waste by tapping into their imagination. He proves that creativity can rubbish to riches while making the world better. This is an inspiring story of a sculpture making a living from converting waste into artwork.
Art consulting expert Eliza Walter has also devised a way to convert e-waste into custom jewelry. An e-mining specialist, Eliza creates wearable jewelry by salvaging precious metals from discarded electronics. She has an eye for popular trends and customizes her pieces to portray emerging trends. These pieces are wearable and contemporary and are an example of how creativity and recycling can be jointly exhaustive. This artist has surprised many people with her ingenuity and eye for detail. She uses a metal fabricator to pry precious metals from old electronics and makes beautiful pieces from this process.
Another sculptor who has taken recycling to a new level is Cyrus Kabiru. This artist collects waste from the streets of Nairobi and converts it into wearable jewelry. He also makes sculptures and bicycles from bits of wire and other forms of e-waste. This is an example of how any type of waste can be functional for a creative mind. His work shows how hobby welding classes can turn you into an artist.
Managing e-waste has become a problem for countries across the globe. Artists are now providing an alternative to recycling by encouraging people to find creative ways of using electronic waste. While it is still a long way from solving the problem, it is still an excellent place to start. You can use anything from an old radio to a refurbished Chromebook to make something beautiful. Anyone can do it. From an electrician to an IT consultant — you can achieve a lot when you put your mind to it.