Each year, the world produces millions of pounds of garbage. In the United States alone, 250 million pounds is produced, and while a third of it goes to the recycling center, most of it goes to the dump. However, not everything that’s tossed into the trash is completely useless, and people around the world have begin to slowly recover discarded items from landfills to reuse them in ways that you can barely imagine.
The 3D had cost him roughly around $100 to assemble using parts from old scanners and printers, while an ordinary 3D printer can cost thousands of dollars. A budget-friendly printer can give destitute communities a chance to have a go at the world’s latest technologies where they they might not otherwise have.
Gnikou even managed to capture NASA’s interest when he demonstrated how repurposed e-waste could print tools and help colonize Mars in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge in Paris. His printer won first place and was nominated for the global prize.
The town of Cateura in Paraguay is surrounded by a landfill that has largely been imported from distant places, and every day children sift through the waste to salvage anything that can be sold to recycling companies for money. They don’t attend school and illiteracy plagues the town.
The recreation of musical instruments from waste began when a discarded violin shell was discovered. This opened the doors for the children of the poverty-stricken community to learn music. It’s thanks to these recycled instruments that the children were able to learn, otherwise they would never been able to considering that a regular violin is worth more than a house in the town. A variety of instruments have been crafted from the refuse, and the children play them passionately. They are known as the Recycled Orchestra and are preparing for a world tour. This has not only brought attention to Cateura’s state of poverty, but also to the environmental impact of landfills.
Children who play music are more likely to excel in math than those who don’t, as studies now show. Moreover, music majors who go on to continue to medical school have a huge 66% acceptance rate higher than any other group.
Using Discarded CDs to Create Potable Water
A method that breaks down impurities and toxins from waste water was recently discovered from a group of researchers from National Taiwan University, hence clean, portable water can now be produced. About 100,000 pounds are thrown into landfills each month, which is equivalent to 20 billion discs. Discs break down they give off Bisphenol-A (BPA) into the environment.
The flat discs are used in filtration systems to grow zinc oxide. Zinc oxide, when exposed to UV light, breaks down contaminants with remarkable efficiency. It takes an hour for 95% of the impurities to be broken down. That yields 150 millilitres of clean water to drink per minute.
CDs can now not only be repurposed, but it could also be the solution to the water insecurity that plagues over 780 million people around the world.