In the US, we scrap about 400 million units per year of consumer electronics, according to recycling industry experts. It is estimated that 70% of the toxic waste of landfills come from electronics. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year. However, less than 15% of these appliances are properly recycled. Many appliances that are recycled are exported to foreign countries rather than properly recycled. It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor!
What it does
eWaste incentives people to donate their appliances at dropboxes at local schools. By doing so, they earn points that they get cashed in for rewards to benefit the high school students. Meanwhile, these electronic appliances are sorted and the ones that are still functional or can be refurbished get resold (especially in international markets) while the junk appliances are disassembled for the precious materials, which gets resold to manufacturers.
How I built it
Using Xcode( Apple's IDE) and Swift (Apple's Language)
Challenges I ran into
Making the app simple yet functional. How to incentivize people to recycle their electronics
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Building the app from scratch without too much experience in iOS programming.
What I learned
eWaste is a huge problem for an environment. It is shameful that we are losing precious resources and polluting the environment. Furthermore, eWaste is promoted by technology becoming obsolete very quickly.
What's next for eWaste
Scaling in to other cities, organizing a facility to refurbish products or scrap them down into their precious metals. If facility is a low-income area, there will be a cheaper cost of labor and better market to recycle and resell electronics to those who need it.