When the Fed constantly replaces old, tattered dollar bills with new, crispy cash, millions of notes get pulled out of circulation while new dollar bills get put in circulation. So what happens to all that old money? It gets shredded. But then what?
One woman’s trash is literally everyone else’s super-expensive, rare $200,000 piece of computer history. Most of the time, recycled electronics are too crappy to sell on Craigslist. But one California e-recycling center recently received one of the most coveted gadgets ever: A genuine Apple-1 computer.
The man who dreamed up the Keurig K-Cup has some regrets, not just about selling his stake in the popular company for a song, but for the amount of waste the non-recyclable single-serving coffee brewing pods have generated: nine billion pods were sold last year, most of which now languish in landfills.
Sometimes choosing to limit yourself to recycled materials can make your building more interesting. These buildings are made from a wide range of reclaimed materials, from concrete pipes and discarded doors to plastic bottles and bags.
There's gold in them thar circuits! And silver. And palladium, copper, tin, and more. In fact, according to a report from the United Nations University, there's some $21 billion in precious metals in every year of our current e-waste, of which only 15% is being recovered.
Where do your computer, iPhone, and television go when they die? Mostly they end up in dumps. Now, people in North America, India, and Europe are harvesting these trashed electronic parts to recover the precious metals within. Though gold is often what they seek, lead and copper are valuable in large quantities too.…
At London's Fashion Week, designer Rachel Friere unveiled a dress made of 3,000 cow nipples lovingly stitched together into evening wear. Unsurprisingly, this dress went over as well as you could expect a dress made out of 3,000 cow nipples to go over.
What do you do with an oil platform after it has outlived its usefulness? You've got this giant structure, set up for people to live and work on it, and it's solidly sunk into the ocean floor.
Coating concrete with residual ash from burning coal can make it strong enough to withstand hellish conditions — and save governments millions of dollars. Fly ash is an industrial byproduct from coal power plants, which used to be pumped into the atmosphere, but is now collected.
An inventor in Japan is betting that you will. Akinori Ito has made the world's first home plastic recycling contraption. It takes commercial plastics, like bags and bottles, and burns them to generate oil. More work is needed to turn the oil into gasoline for a car, but it can be burned in heating systems or on…
For generations of kids in Britain (and elsewhere) Elisabeth Beresford's creations, the Wombles, were a palpable presence that you suspected were always burrowing just underfoot, waiting to put all our rubbish to good use. Beresford died last week, aged 84.
For the Artissma International Art Fair last weekend, German design firm raumlabor built the House of Contamination, an indoor structure made of garbage and appliances. The village isn't built to last, but it resembles some post-apocalyptic dwelling out of WALL-E.
A group of MIT students have found ways to turn shock absorbers into power generators. Salvaging energy wasted by others may be the modern small-business gold rush. Can you cash in?
This amazing sculpture of horses emerging like ghosts from a wall is made entirely of junk plastic. In this gallery, you can see bits of dolls, wires, and discarded cooking utensils rescued from the trash and made into something alive.
Those aren't missiles. They're actually used beverage containers, made of rubber, which these mid-century factory workers are recycling into devices for fighter pilots in World War II.
Now you can use a microwave to transform old tires into energy. Here you see Jay Gill, an employee of New Jersey company Global Resource Corporation, doing just that using an awesomely homebrew-looking setup. The process is completely revolutionary, and the company has just announced it's about to get a ton of money…
Alex Andromeda calls himself a science fiction artist who wants to connect the far future with the mystical past. He uses recycled computer parts to make lamps, sculptures, eyeglasses, and ancient Inca symbols. Here is just one of his amazing creations, a ceiling lamp made from old hard drive cases, called Spaceship…
Plastic flip flop sandals discarded in the oceans off the coast of Asia have formed a new kind of fauna on the coast of Northern Kenya. So many sandals wash ashore that over the past decade locals have begun harvesting them, turning them into colorful toys, and selling them for more money than they could make from…