Planet Ark News

Art From E-Waste

Date: 20-Feb-14
Author: Jess McCallum

"I believe art has a role to play in the healing of our world, from the most local level all the way to the global," said Chris

There's recycling to reuse resources and then there's recycling to create art. Which is exactly what internationally acclaimed artist Chris Jordon has done with thousands of old phones at Melbourne's Sustainable Living Festival (16-23 February). Chris is here as a guest of MobileMuster, the official recycling program of the mobile industry.

Chris, with the help of Melbourne school kids, created a massive four by eight metre artwork in Federation Square in the shape of a giant analogue phone, drawing attention to the country's rising e-waste and the fact that 23 million old and unused mobile phones are waiting to be recycled in Australia right now. You can watch the artwork come together in time-lapse.

If those 23 million old mobile phones were recycled, it would reduce the need to mine over 144,000 tonnes of precious metal ore, recover over 397 tonnes of plastic and have the equivalent environmental impact of planting over 120,000 trees, which is quite astonishing.

How many old mobile phones do you have hidden away at home or at work? Well, all you need to do to recycle them is visit to find one of the thousands of recycling locations near you or to download a free reply-paid label. While on the site you can also search for recycling options for other types of e-waste like computers, TVs, batteries and more.

Check out more of Chris Jordon's amazing work on his website. His best-known series is Running the Numbers which turns powerful statistics about consumption in the United States of America into large-scale photographic art.

(And just in case you were wondering, all of the phones used in the artwork will be recycled by MobileMuster!)

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