WHAT IS E-WASTE?
Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) refers to the variety of electrical, electronic or digital devices that are discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken and disposed of by their owners.
As the use of computers has proliferated, E-waste has increased exponentially. The issue of E-waste is now widely understood to be a major environmental problem with an estimated 40 million tonnes per annum generated globally (StEP 2010).
The disposal of this waste has generated socio-economic, political and environmental issues that include mass consumerism in the field of electronic goods, the environmental implications of the improper disposal of e-waste, the health implications of the improper disposal of e-waste, the international trafficking of e-waste and finally the impact of art in raising cultural awareness of e-waste.
What a waste!
“The government will soon introduce rules to regulate the informal e-waste recycling sector, but the formal sector itself is flouting regulations. An investigation by Down To Earth exposed how a registered firm in Roorkee is selling electronic equipment to junk dealers rather than recycling them.”
Click here to visit ‘DOWN TO EARTH’ – online Science and Environment magazine.
E-WASTE, ART AND CREATIVITY
Chris Jordan is an inspirational visual artist and photographer. His work often documents American mass consumerism and the degradation of the environment. Jordan's series 'Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption (2003 - 2005)' is a particularly poignant example.
"The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits."
~cj, Seattle, 2005
Click here to see the works.
E-waste Art Gallery
Click here to check out an image gallery containing some very creative uses of E-waste.
A Positive, Creative Use of E-waste – a 17km bike path!
“It’s no surprise electronic garbage commonly referred to as e-waste is piling up in our nation’s landfills, but the Australian National Park Service has a creative alternative.
Repeat Plastics Australia just opened a new bike path made entirely out of excess plastic materials from discarded printer cartridges.”
Click here to read more.
Jordan, C, Photographic Arts, posted: 1/11/2009, accessed: 15/3/2010, http://www.chrisjordan.com/
Richter, P 2010, StEP-Solving the E-waste Problem, The initiative: What is e-waste?, accessed: 25/3/2010, http://www.step-initiative.org/initiative/what-is-e-waste.php