Sit back, relax and let the cool sounds of your e-waste take you away
This incredibly savvy Illinois musician gives a new meaning to metal heads. Colten Jackson, e-waste enthusiast and music extraordinaire, has pushed the boundaries with his project called Electronic Waste Orchestra.
By hacking together what Jackson calls the Hard Rock Guitar out of e-waste, six obsolete hard drives, and an old keyboard number pad, powered by an Arduino board, he is able to produce a range of synthesized, ambient tones.
Jackson says, “if you were to try to design a digital instrument from scratch, I think it’d be hard to come up with an idea on a blank canvas, but dig through a pile of e-waste and find a circuit board, and now you have an interface.”
By the year 2017, the Earth will feel the weight of as much as eight additional Egyptian Pyramids, leaving the burden of cleaning up the mess to electronics recyclers.
A reported 50 million tons of obsolete electronics were thrown away last year, and ideas for shrinking that number run from straightforward recycling programs to turning old gadgets into gold. This e-waste project offers up one way for people to recycle their old electronics, while finding inventive ways to reuse what some may see as unusable.
Did you know e-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but an astonishing 70% of overall toxic waste? Not only the shell of the device is considered e-waste; it’s really what’s in the electronics that matters. The U.S. EPA estimates that recycling 1 million mobile phones reclaims 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium.
The EPA also reported the U.S. collects and recycles about 27 percent of its disposed electronics. By carelessly tossing over 130 million cell phones every year and recycling a mere 11 percent, each U.S. household now spends around $1,200 each year on new electronics gadgets, all of which will be disposed of in a few years time.
This innovate project is making sound waves in the electronics recycling world and creative ways to reuse old gadgets is the future of keeping e-waste out of landfills.