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E-Cycle Truck

How many people in your town, including you, know about e-cycling? Why is there a lack of awareness when the increasing amount of e-waste is a serious problem throughout the world? The E-Cycle Truck aims to educate and facilitate e-cycling!

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Written by DeletedUser

The idea of the E-Cycle truck is to promote and inform people about the importance of e-cycling as well as provide a convenient place to recycle or repair old electronics. Inspired by the food truck movement, the E-Cycle truck (appropriately, a repaired and transformed old truck) would go around the town to promote, collect, trade, and repair old and broken electronics. People can bring out their old cell phones sleeping on their shelves for 3 years to let us e-cycle it, trade it with other electronic, or repair it so you can give it to friends and family members as gifts, or sell on Craigslist.

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

While conducting research, we were surprised that a recycling center that handles e-cycling already exists in our community! This is a resource that is not being taken advantage of because people are not aware of it and because it is not easy for many people (students who don't have cars for example) to get to. After interviewing the City of Urbana's recycling coordinator, we realized that unless people understand and acknowledge the environment themselves, our effort to encourage people to e-cycle more often would be pointless. What is the purpose of having recycling bin when no one uses it? This was our main idea. Let people know that there is a chance to protect our environment and provide them an easy way to do it. 1. What is it? It is a truck, but not just an ordinary truck. E-Cycle Truck promotes about e-cycle by just driving around the town, the truck itself is a great way of promoting the e-cycle! 2. When and where? Every Saturday, you can meet this truck at the Lincoln Square at Urbana's farmer's market. Once a month, it will be at the heart of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (over 40,000 students from 115 countries), near Illini Union, to provide services. We can also have the truck circulate around campus and the community more regularly and publish its location in real-time on Twitter, similar to how food trucks operate. 3. How? We provide REPAIRING services, because reusing the electronics, making its e-life to last longer is a better way to save the environment. This way, it saves money, time, and labor that goes into to recycle and produce a new product using it. We COLLECT and TRADE old and broken electronics at a convenience distance. Now people do not have to hold on to their old cellphones or chargers. They can bring it to us and we will safely remove all the personal data in the cellphones and recycle for you. 4. Who? We are people who like to take a step to save the environment . People who are working for this truck are your friends and your neighbors. You will see friendly faces whenever you visit us. 5. Why? The main goal of E-Truck is the awareness. We want people to know the importance of e-cycle and to let them know where to bring the ewaste when they actually want to take an action in saving the environment. People will have a convenient means of recycling or repairing their electronics. We provide educational information and guidelines on pamphlets and posters displayed by the truck. It will also be playing videos for people. This truck is ALL about e-cycle.

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

This concept itself uses a recycled or fixed truck and the services it provides will lengthen the life of electronics by offering repair services as well as offering an easier venue for people to recycle electronics. Right now, people do not really know what's best for the environment. By exposing our E-Truck to people, awareness will be increased. We will educate people and give them an opportunity to reuse their old electronics. We do not just recommend to recycle the electronics but to maximize the life of the products. Also people will no longer hold on to their cellphones, the E-Truck will attract many of "sleeping in the drawer" cellphones because now people know where to bring them and do not have to worry about it because the technicians will take care of all their personal data.

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

We will contact the City of Champaign and Urbana to discuss more about our idea and ways to get funded. We'll also be contacting local organizations, and University of Illinois for their support, such as advertising the service and getting volunteers. Industrial and graphic designers from DFA UIUC will design the details of the truck. Designers will work on the educational videos, pamphlets, and posters for the truck. We will also talk to computer science/engineering related major students to volunteer to work as technicians for internship credits in return. We also need to find an old truck to use. Because of our repair services, perhaps an old ambulance would be appropriate.

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

1.Money: E-Truck will be getting a financial support through a partnership with the Urbana Recycling Program Center. We have been working with them and they are very interested in this concept and have expressed willingness to sponsor us. 2.Truck: it can be funded by the city and we can get donations/funding from customers and local organizations to run the truck. We may be able to run a Kickstarter campaign for additional funding. 3. Interior: We will be using some old monitors that we e-cycled to show educational videos about recycling. We will also have pamphlets and poster and bulletin boards to educate people and to let them know what kind of sources we have here in the town. 4. Labor: Technicians/drivers can be hired using the advantage of the college town that we are living in, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They will be computer science/engineering related major students or anyone who is willing to learn basic knowledge of how to handle the electronics can work for us and receive internship credits which will attract many students. Also, there are many homeless in the town and they can be a valuable source of labor. They can work for us and they will get food, clothes, money and other necessities. 5. Other sources: DFA UIUC will be promoting about the truck online and offline. We will gather bunch of graphic/industrial designers who are members of DFA UIUC to make and attracting posters, and pamphlets and advertise on Social network.

My Virtual Team

Our team members including Dan Park, Eva Foo, and Jason Soderlund. We did research, interviewed, and ideated. The City of Urbana's Recycling Program was a great source of support and help. We are also thankful for those who gave us lots of fee back, such as Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and local recycling centers, and all of the OpenIDEO community members who commented on our concept.

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. How much of a social or environmental impact will this concept have on discarded electronics or e-waste?

This concept could have significant social or environmental impact. - 50%

It's unclear how much social or environmental impact this concept will have. - 37.5%

This concept would have little social or environmental impact. - 12.5%

2. How well does this concept help you or others understand how electronic items are designed, built, reused, recycled or thrown away?

Very well: it makes the entire electronics life cycle easier to understand. - 50%

Pretty well: it could help people better understand the electronics life cycle but it needs more detail or information. - 25%

Not so well: it does not significantly help people better understand the electronics life cycle. - 25%

3. How appealing do you believe this concept would be to investors (businesses, banks, lenders, venture capitalists and others)?

Very appealing: this is an idea that investors would get excited about. - 0%

Potentially appealing: more work is needed to flesh out how the concept works, what it would cost and who would fund it. - 87.5%

Not so appealing: this does not seem like a concept that would get investors excited. - 12.5%

4. How challenging would it be to implement and scale this concept across geographies, cultures and languages? (Hint: think about resources like money, time, partnerships, or other inputs needed for implementation and scaling)

Not very challenging. - 12.5%

Somewhat challenging. - 75%

Very challenging. - 12.5%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world. - 37.5%

I liked it but preferred others. - 50%

It didn't get me overly excited. - 12.5%

26 comments

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Photo of Kay Ostar

I applaud this idea, especially because education is key to changing deep-seated (and frankly, bad) consumer waste habits.
What would make this even better is if the truck itself was environmentally-friendly, i.e. electric-powered or having incredibly low carbon emissions.

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