Tuesday, March 17, 2009

University of Illinois Sustainable e-Waste Design Competition

Kudos to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) professor William Bullock, for offering a two-semester course sequence that examines the problem of electronic waste. In Fall 2008, students in the sequence studied all aspects of the e-waste problem and produced a collaborative report on their findings. This semester, students are focusing on sustainable product design, and will be participating in a competition to produce new or recycled products from discarded electronic components. The competition is actually open to all UIUC students, not only those enrolled in Bullock's course. Materials for use in the competition were collected on campus in February from local citizens. Also, students participating in the competition were encouraged to donate an old computer as an entry "fee."

Registration for the competition is currently closed, and the competition itself will take place in April. The finalists and winner will be displayed on the competition web site, www.ewaste.illinois.edu. Any leftover e-waste not used by participants will be responsibly recycled by PC Rebuilders and Recyclers in Chicago, an organization that refurbishes donated computer equipment and sells the results at reasonable prices to schools, non-profits and individuals that might not otherwise be able to access such equipment. They recycle any components that are unusable.

To read more about the competition, visit the competition web site listed above or see the competition flyer. Criteria for judging of entries is available here.

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