Rise in the consumption of consumer electronics all over the world though has made our lives better, but the frequent changes in the gadget world has given rise to electronic waste, which is the fastest growing waste in the world. Most of this waste is illegally exported to developing countries such as Africa, where many people depend on it for their livelihood.
According to figures the UK exports about 70 percent of electric and electronic waste to the west coast of Africa. Here people burn the electric wire so as to separate useful copper wire from waste plastic. This burning process is mostly carried out by teenagers, and has terrible consequences on their health. Designers from the Royal College of Arts have tried to solve the problem in an environmentally friendly way by designing a bike-powered electric waste recycler.
Dubbed Esource, the bike-powered recycling device features a shredder that is mounted on a bike. The user just has to pedal to power the shredder and watch it grind the wired mix of copper and plastic. The mix then enters a metal separator that makes use of water to separate copper from plastic, without burning anything. The process produces 98 percent pure copper which can then be sold. Moreover, the waste plastic can also be sold to make even more money.
The design team believes that the machine is simple to manufacture and can be produced locally in the developing world. The machine could also be made available to local workshops who can either manufacture them and sell them.
Via: Smart Planet