Five easy ways to reduce trash

Just in time for Earth Day. Read the rest

Prison inmates built working PCs out of ewaste, networked them, and hid them in a closet ceiling

Inmates in Ohio's Marion Correctional Institution smuggled computer parts out of an ewaste recycling workshop and built two working computers out of them, hiding them in the ceiling of a training room closet ceiling and covertly patching them into the prison's network. Read the rest

Millions of lead-filled CRTs have been abandoned in warehouses across America

The swift replacement of CRT screens with flat panels created tons of extremely toxic e-waste, with dangerous tubes and leaded glass posing unique environmental and safety hazards for disposal workers and sites. Read the rest

Animal sculptures made of recycled tires

Baseball player Blake McFarland makes cool stuff in the off season, including these sculptures made of old tires: Read the rest

Amazing photos from Kinshasa's scrap car-parts megamarket

The N’Djili district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo is home to an enormous market of scrap auto-parts, carefully salvaged from Japan's waste-stream and meticulously arrayed on blankets by merchants eking out a marginal existence. Read the rest

Surprisingly beautiful chandelier made from toilets

Upcycler extraordinaire Rodney Allen Trice turned salvage toilet bowls into designer lighting! From Refitting the Planet:

To contribute my ideas and vision and energies in the arena of creative repurposing or applied deconstruction was an honor.

here are some off the initial sketches and the build of THE TOILET CHANDELIER. My latest, largest and first piece built in my studios new home base of PITTSBURGH, yinz!!!

Very Exciting! Now I am making tweaks and changes to this design. There are still things to work out as it was a race to complete it at this event on Saturday, but the piece will be on permanent display at Construction Junction forevermore once completed! WOO HOO!!

Read the rest

Right to repair is under assault in New York, and you can save it!

New York is one of four states considering legislation that would guarantee your right to get your stuff fixed by independent repair centers, curbing manufacturers' attempts to limit access to technical documentation and parts, meaning you pay less to keep your stuff working, and that means that your gadgets don't become immortal, toxic e-waste. Read the rest

Hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags

Argentine artist Tomás Saracen's installation, Becoming Aerosolar, is a gigantic hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags. Read the rest

Guerilla Furniture Design: making your home beautiful with waste materials

Will Holman is a maker's maker whose HOWTOs have graced Make, Instructables, Readymade and other hotbeds of DIY; his new book Guerilla Furniture Design is a beautifully written and inspiring design manifesto disguised as a project book,

Lights and chandeliers made from booze bottles and books

The Moonshine Lamp Company makes beautiful lights out of booze bottles, such as the Crystal Skull Sconce and the eight-bottle chandelier; but they also make lights out of hardcovers, including one made from Jeremy Scahill's superb investigative 2007 book Blackwater. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Bangalore's garbage crisis and America's invisible trash

Noah Sachs uses the years-long Bangalore garbage crisis to ask some pointed questions about America's secretive waste-disposal industry, which treats the treatment of American waste as a military-grade secret, protected by barbed wire and vicious lawyers.

Bangalore's drowning in rubbish, it's contaminating the water and poisoning the Earth, tens of thousands labor in filthy, unsafe conditions to sort and recover it -- and the average Bangalorean is only generating about one pound of trash per day. Americans throw away seven times that amount, and the fact that it's whisked away doesn't mean it's not a problem. In Sachs's view, the Bangalore situation just makes visible the lurking consequences of America's own profligacy. Read the rest

Kickstarting an album of music made from junk hardware - and plans for recycled electronics instruments

Chiron sez, "I'm making an album and music video on Kickstarter, creating music and art from the most powerful tools human kind has ever discarded. Using recycled electronics, you journey into a secret world, with dollhouse-sized scenes filmed inside technology itself, and sounds made almost entirely out of retro computers & video games. E-waste is a huge environmental problem, and so my mission is to inspire artists and musicians around the world to turn the problem into creative artistic solutions. I've got 13 years professional experience in technology as a senior project manager, and this adventure represents the peak of a 5-year labor of love."

Backers pledging to this project can choose rewards, for both people who love listening to music, as well as making it. You can get download and CD versions of the music, and various hardware and software used to make the sounds on the album. This includes software and MIDI hardware for vintage systems, as well as guitar pedals made out of modems and PDP-11 electronics, and art prints featuring scenes from the final music video. Right now there is also a free song and free instruments you can download directly from the Kickstarter page. Everything is designed, built and hand-tested by me and once the project has launched, and after backers get a 6-month head start, I will release everything under an open-source license.

Trash Secret - A Musical Journey Inside Technology (Thanks, Chiron!) Read the rest

Send a Togolese 3D printer made out of ewaste to Mars

Afate is a Togolese hacker who uses the WoeLab makerspace in Lome, Togo (the first makerspace in west Africa). He's invented a 3D printer made out of the ewaste that is piled high in neighborhood-sized ewaste dumps in Agbogbloshie, near Accra, Ghana. He's raised money on Ulule to standardize the printer, called the W.AFATE, so that anyone can turn ewaste into a 3D printer. The W.AFATE design has already won NASA's Space App challenge with a concept for building trashbot 3D printers on distant planets. Read the rest

Filamaker: turn misbegotten 3D prints back into filament

Joris sez, "I interviewed Marek Senický about his Filamaker today. The device is a grinder and filament extruder that recycles waste plastic and turns old unwanted 3D prints into new ones. I think its amazing and will greatly reduce the cost of 3D printing. Effectively to zero if waste is used [Ed: that's artistic license -- I'm sure Joris is familiar with the second law of thermodynamics]. It will also make 3D printing much greener."

I wrote about Filabot, a competitor of Filamaker, last January. Joris explains the difference: "Filamaker has a grinder and extruder. So it grinds up old 3D prints and turns them into filament. It can also grind up ABS waste products and turn those into filament. So you take any old ABS item and grind it and filament pops out. The Filabot is only an extruder that takes pellets and turns them into filament." Read the rest

Where old TV screens go to die

Time was, we used to recycle old cathode ray tubes from TVs and computer monitors into new ones. Obviously, though, there's no longer a demand for new CRTs — or the specialized leaded glass they're made of. As a result, the last generation of CRTs is piling up into a "glass tsunami", filling storage units and swiftly becoming a liability to the recyclers who used to make money off them. Read the rest

Filabot: turn scrap plastic into 3D printer filament

Filabot, "The Personal Filament Maker" is an ongoing open-source hardware kit project that aims to perfect a plastic grinder/melter that you can use to turn scrap plastic (including failed 3D printouts) into filament that can be fed into 3D printers.

Meet "Big Trash"

Over the long run, keeping stuff like tree limbs and compostable waste out of landfills is good for cities. There's only so much space in a landfill and getting more land is extremely expensive. So why haven't more cities hopped on the curbside composting bandwagon, or at least banned yard waste from landfills? There's probably a lot of factors that go into those decisions, but one, apparently, is the influence of large, private companies that handle waste collection and see the diversion of re-usable waste as a detriment to their income. (Via Chris Tackett) Read the rest

More posts