Informal E-waste Recycling 


Enclosing inner electronic components with an easy-to-dismantle outer layer

This material exploration envisions the encapsulation of electronic devices in an easy-to-dismantle outer layer. It consists of series of rapid prototying with wax and silicone using handheld consumer electronic products.

Objective:To increase the accessibility of electronic components and metals to further aid the dismantler in the process of dismantling.

Through research and rapid prototyping, physical and chemical property of silicone and wax allowed the outer layer to be cut through and melted easily, respectively. Simultaneously, they maintained the rigidity of the object and specially, in the case of silicone, functionality too.

Act of Dismantling:
Disassembly process in the informal and formal recycling facilities is very hands on and mostly exists in the initial process i.e. opening of an object. The differences are tools and methodologies. One has the advantage of specified screwdrivers and crushers, another takes the traditional approach of using hammer and chisels.

Dismantler’s perspective: Break open the outer layer of the object to take out the electronic and metal parts.  

“Define designing goals based on the values and principles first and by the metrics (cost and aesthetic for manufacturing) later.”

- By William McDonough in his book, The Upcycle: beyond sustainanbilty mentioned a strategy for designing:

So, by putting the values and perspective of the recyclers at first, instead of the consumer first, what change will it bring to the process?

Material Exploration
Multiple experiments were conducted over different handheld  consumer electronic products. Some of the examples were shown below. 

Password: wax_melt