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Neighbourhood E-waste Champion

Provide a website + toolkit to encourage folks to set up neighbourhood e-waste collections – then connect with official e-waste handlers.

Photo of Meena Kadri
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Jenny lives in a New York high-rise. She's seen a notice in the lobby of her building about being able to drop e-waste in a special bin in the shared laundry. She drops off her batteries and an old phone.

Ethan lives in a New York high-rise. He's become a Neighbourhood E-Waste Champion. He downloaded a toolkit online which gave him tips on how to get started. When the collection bin is full for his building – he contacts his local e-waste handling unit and they come & pick it up. He earns vouchers for local businesses for his efforts.

Sunita is a teacher at a primary school in Wellington, New Zealand. She's become an E-Waste Champion at her school. Like Ethan, she's downloaded a toolkit and set up a collection area to which parents and students drop their e-waste at. Kids get stickers when they participate. Her local e-waste handlers don't have the capacity to pick up e-waste but with the help of the school van she ensures that it's dropped off to them once a month. 

THE IDEA: People can download a toolkit online to become a Neighbourhood E-Waste Champion – which is really like a kind of local e-waste broker. The kit gives them tips on letting neighbours know, setting up a collection point and steps on having their local e-waste handlers pick up the waste or how to get it to them. For doing this, neighbourhood brokers can earn points which they then exchange for vouchers at local businesses (eg. cafes) Together, this fosters community and lowers hurdles for discarding of e-waste.

MOTIVATION: The Neighbourhood E-Waste Champion website would be fun and engaging – creating aspiration for wanting to be a local e-waste broker. There might be features like points and badges on your profile, a monthly interview to tell human-centered stories of active brokers and stickers + merchandise which would positively reinforce the E-Waste Champion brand. The brand would be hip enough that businesses supplying vouchers would be proud to be associated with it. (Note: The Superman image here is just to catch your attention. The actual brand would be *way* better!)

This idea was inspired by conversations on lowering hurdles for e-waste collection on Sabine's Battery Collection post – plus Lousie's insightful provocation on her account of A Recycler's Journey.

How does your concept safeguard human health and protect our environment?

By encouraging effective disposal of household e-waste.

Where does your concept fit into the lifecycle of electronic devices?

It connect citizens to official e-waste handlers via a neighbourhood broker.

What steps could be taken today to start implementing your concept?

This could be initially prototyped by trying it out – even by one person in one neighbourhood. They could find out how to interact with their local e-waste handlers, get a bin, print up a couple of posters and have a go. After observing how things go, talking to neighbours and the handlers, the process could be refined. From there a toolkit could be devised – the brand and voucher sponsorship would come next.

What kinds of resources will be needed to fully implement and scale your concept?

Designer for toolkit + brand. Supporting merchandise. Local partnerships for voucher sponsorship + e-waste handling. Online community manager(s) to promote the venture and celebrate success via social media, etc.

My Virtual Team

Sabine Kuznik Louise Wilson Anne-Laure Fayard Paul Reader

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Photo of wekesa zab

Awesome ... Thanks for the share Meena .

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