Take a walk outside any urban-ish area and you’ll likely find at least one of these colorful chaps dotting the sidewalk…
I first started collecting these thinking they were transformers, which I only know about from my trailer trash days in Aptos before coming to live in New York City. I used to pick them up because I thought they were pretty, enchanted by all the bright colors.
Then, a friend told me they were e-cigarette butts and I got mad! I couldn’t believe smokers were transferring their butt-flicking habit to this new plastic medium. Butt flickers!
Well, a smoker is a smoker, I suppose, and old habits die hard. Whether its regular cigarette butts or e-cigarette butts, these guys belong in the garbage, or perhaps they can be recycled or better yet, re-used. They certainly do not belong on the ground, where they will inevitably get swept “away”…eventually to end up in the belly of a bird or fish. We can do better. Who is responsible?
There are precious metals in our phones including gold, thats why they are better recycled than thrown in the garbage or left in a drawer.
This piece is made from scraps leftover from an Urban Mining Expedition in the summer of 2018. Urban Mining is the act of salvaging valuable materials, such as copper and gold, from the inside of everyday electronic devices. The products can be redeemed for their cash value or recycled at their respective recycling facilities, or used to make an artful statement, which has been done here.
Creating this piece allowed me to explore the many pieces, materials, textures, and shapes inside cell phones ranging from the archaic flip phone to the modern smart phone.
It was much more difficult to get inside and take apart smart phones, see Right to Repair.
If you have any questions or would like advice on how to responsibly dispose of your old electronic devices, I’m here for you, please contact me or your local municipal recycling department 🙂