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 on the 11th June. It's safe to say, it didn't go unnoticed.
With thanks to Stockport Council and Totally Stockport, we've now brought Mount Recyclemore home to Stockport for the summer holidays to demonstrate the importance of the environment on our regional economy. We also hope to bring our community together in the fight against e-waste and to create a brighter, greener future. You can find Mount Recyclemore at Stockport Exchange.
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. Originally located on Sandy Acres beach opposite the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, we've brought it to our hometown of Stockport to highlight the importance of its message to our region and to allow our local community to see it with their own eyes!
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.
E-waste is now a growing global challenge, particularly in parts of the world with poor waste management.
That’s why we’ve been working with WasteAid, an independent UK charity (non-profit), set up by waste management and international development professionals to share practical and low-cost waste management know-how with communities and policymakers in low-income countries.
Throughout June, we donated £1 for every tech item we bought off customers to WasteAid. We’re also giving our customers the option to donate the entire value of the trade in to WasteAid, or make a cash donation.
The £30,000 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.
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 is 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.
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...
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!
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.
For electricals musicMagpie doesn’t buy, Community Computers is a local recycling initiative, refurbishing old, unused devices to help Stockport people get online, as well as tackling e-waste and providing training in IT recycling for the long-term unemployed. Drop off your old computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones at any library in Stockport.
Visit www.communitycomputers.co.uk for more information.
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.
Climate change poses an extreme threat to our society. In 2019, Stockport Council declared a climate emergency and agreed on its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2038. The Climate Action Now (CAN) strategy is an action plan for everyone – the council, businesses, communities, schools and residents – and how we must all play our part to tackle climate change and reach our targets. Locally, we have already felt the effects of climate change – disruptive events such as extreme flooding in Stockport will likely become more frequent and more severe. Climate change will also impact on wildlife and biodiversity in the borough. We as individuals will have an important role to play in reducing the amount of waste that we create by buying fewer products and buying products which last longer. Reusing and recycling products we do buy, including e-waste, will help to combat climate change.