Information Technology

The Giant Heads of ‘Mount Recyclemore’ Highlight the World’s E-Waste Problem

The Giant Heads of Mount Recyclemore Highlight the Worlds EWaste Problem

These may be some of the biggest tech heads around. 

British artists Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage have created a Mount Rushmore-inspired sculpture of the seven G7 world leaders, constructed entirely from electronic waste. Unveiled on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Mount Recyclemore aims to draw attention to the need to reduce e-waste.

“We need to recycle stuff, we need to make stuff last,” said Rush via The Guardian. “We can’t just throw it into landfill. It’s not just a politician’s problem; it’s a problem that the human race has to deal with.”

The sculpture was commissioned by used electronics retailer musicMagpie, which states that the purpose of Mount Recyclemore is to “highlight the growing threat e-waste poses to the environment and the importance of taking action now.”

Built by 15 artists over six weeks, it depicts UK prime minister Boris Johnson, Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.S. president Joe Biden. Each face measures approximately 3 feet wide and 10 feet high.

According to the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, approximately 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated in 2019. That number is expected to grow to 74.7 million metric tons by 2030.

E-waste releases toxic chemicals into the environment such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, with terrible consequences both for the ecosystem and our own health. Failure to recycle and reappropriate resources from e-waste also means more must be mined to make new electronics,  creating more greenhouse gases.

Mount Recyclemore is currently located at Sandy Acres in Cornwall, near Carbis Bay where the summit will be held. It will be dismantled on Sunday, after which it will reassembled at musicMagpie’s headquarters.

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