When a mobile phone passes its use-by date, we often shove it in a drawer and forget about it. Eventually we toss it in the bin and create e-waste. In 2013 it was estimated that around the world we generate 40 million tonnes of e-waste every year. There has to be a better solution for our outdated tech, right?
Sick of seeing his old tech wasting space, electronic engineer Evangelos Gkolgaris thought so. He decided to make something new from them. In fact, he began creating art.
“The internet gives me inspiration for my creations,” says Evangelos, who lives in Greece. “I work in my laboratory in my free time and thought I could use materials from my laboratory that are expensive but non-functional [to create art].”
Over the past two years, Evangelos has upcycled technology to create sci-fi inspired pieces. Some are useful, like his motherboard-cum-note holder and pen. And others are made purely for artistic purposes, like the android robot head he counts as his favourite creation.
Other pieces he has made include wall clocks, a disarmingly futuristic hanging robot wall piece, a miniature chopper motorcycle and a model aircraft (pictured above).
Despite the fads and phases that come with the latest tech products, Evangelos shows that they can be turned into timeless art pieces. And while they may not all be rejuvenated like the Nokia 3310, the longevity of our tech gives us pause for thought not only about binning it, but what can be created from these seemingly defunct devices.
Lots of companies, like Apple, provide recycling services, and some even give a discount on new products when you use them.
The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme provides a free drop-off point in each state or territory to recycle your tech. For a list of drop-off points and opening times go to recyclingnearyou.com.au.
MobileMuster, a proud supporter of the Salvos, recycles mobile phones, smartphones, phone batteries and accessories. MobileMuster supports the Salvos by giving $2 for every kilo of mobiles and accessories collected in-store. Just drop them in the marked box at allocated retailers or send it to them directly. Find nearby locations at mobilemuster.com.au.
If you’ve upgraded but your tech is still in good nick, consider donating to Technical Aid to the Disabled, or a community initiative near you. They can refurbish your old laptop and use it for a good cause.