Mining Manhattan : a new urban model for recycling electronic waste
New urban model for recycling electronic waste
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
J. Meejin Yoon.
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This thesis proposes an electronic waste recycling center in downtown Manhattan as the test site for a new ecosystem of material production and consumption. Discarded electronic materials represent the single fastest growing source of municipal waste, which is often illegally exported to developing countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, India, China before being processed into reusable materials. As urban societies increasingly rely on digital devices, and those devices become obsolete at rapid rates, a new model for managing e-waste is desperately needed. The thesis employs architecture to raise awareness, illuminate deficiencies in the current model of e-waste management, and orchestrate an alternative model to current practices. The project is situated on the Gansevoort peninsula on the west side of Manhattan on a wasteland made from landfill, and the former site of a municipal waste incinerator. Micro collection points throughout the island collect approximately 100 tons of daily e-waste that are then transported to the recycling center, which serves the entire island. The architecture transforms e-waste into commodifiable resources such as gold and silver to make new products. Not only is the architecture a machine for creating new material but it becomes a site for exchanging knowledge, allowing public to engage and participate with the recycling processes. By exploiting the site's latent symbolic and logistical value, this thesis proposes a new urban consumption cycle. "One man's trash is another man's treasure"; obsolete devices enjoy their second lives.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 124-125).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology