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Introducing Mount Recyclemore

E-waste poses a huge threat to the environment - and developed nations are among the worst offenders for producing it. We decided to create a sculpture that would send a message to world leaders at the G7 summit, which took place in June 2021. It's safe to say, it didn't go unnoticed.

Mount Recyclemore is now on its third life at the Eden Project, after spending the summer in Stockport - the home of musicMagpie. Mount Recyclemore will be at the Eden Project for a year - we hope you are able to pay it a visit.

What is Mount Recyclemore?

Mount Recyclemore is a giant sculpture of the G7 leaders' heads made entirely of discarded electronics. Its aim is to highlight the growing threat of e-waste and the importance of immediate action.

The sculpture was originally located on Sandy Acres beach opposite the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, while the world leaders met to discuss the biggest issues facing the planet we call home.

We created Mount Recyclemore in collaboration with the Mutoid Waste Company's Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage. Joe is renowned for his environmental art installations and has collaborated with artists including Banksy, Vivienne Westwood and Damien Hirst.

 

What is e-waste?

E-waste is any electronic item that is nearing the end of its useful life, and is discarded, donated or recycled. E-waste which isn’t recycled can end up in landfill and poses all kinds of environmental issues.

Over time, the toxic chemicals inside our tech then seep into the earth’s soil and water. The chemicals released when tech is burned pollute the air, while the refrigerants found in temperature exchange equipment are greenhouse gases.

Failing to recycle e-waste also means the precious materials contained in tech products can’t be reused. This means more primary raw materials need to be extracted and refined, which leads to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The UN estimates that 53 million tonnes of e-waste are generated globally every year. It expects this figure to double by 2050, making it the fastest-growing waste stream in the world.

The G7 nations produce 15.9 million tons of e-waste each year, with the US, Japan, Germany and the UK the four worst offenders. The UK is also responsible for producing the second largest amount of e-waste per capita in the world.

How much do people know about e-waste?

Our previous research suggests Brits own £16.5 billion worth of technology they no longer use, with the average household owning 11 unused devices. Despite this...

What can we do about e-waste?

At musicMagpie, we’re firm believers in a circular economy where products are resold, recycled, refurbished and reused. 95% of products we buy from our customers are refurbished and we use the parts from the remaining 5% to refurbish other items.

We can all do our bit to reduce e-waste by reselling and recycling phones and other tech products we no longer use, as well as considering buying refurbished technology instead. You can do this with musicMagpie!

While Mount Recyclemore is at the Eden Project, you can trade in your old tech and donate all the proceeds to the Eden Project educational charity.

The Recycle Your Electricals campaign is also calling on households to stop throwing away and hoarding their unwanted small old electricals and instead start reusing, selling, donating or recycling them.

For more information on how to recycle electricals, and your nearest recycling point, please visit www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk where you can find details of over 3,000 recycling points across the UK.

So if you have old tech at home, why not recycle it with us? We also sell refurbished phones and tech, which are an environmentally-friendly alternative to buying new.

Throughout June, while Mount Recyclemore was at Sandy Acres, we donated £1 for every tech item sold to WasteAid. The £30,0000 raised for the charity during June will contribute to WasteAid's programmes and will support the development of educational materials on how to tackle the issue of e-waste, and importantly how to recycle and repair unwanted technology.

About the Eden Project

The Eden Project is an educational charity. Its mission is to create a movement that builds relationships between people and the natural world to demonstrate the power of working together for the benefit of all living things. Eden’s home in Cornwall is a striking contemporary space for the 21st century combining botanical garden, cultural venue, park and visitor destination.

The project opened on March 17, 2001, the brainchild of Co-founder Sir Tim Smit. The team transformed a disused clay mine into a paradise. Two massive Biomes, one containing the largest rainforest in captivity and the other landscapes and crops from the world’s Mediterranean regions, act as a backdrop to stunning Outdoor Gardens.  Since opening the destination has attracted more than 22 million visitors and generated more than £2.2 billion for the regional economy.