01 / Interscalar mapping along the research to mark forces directing e-waste streams: from international and domestic legal regulations, technological innovation and trends, commercialisation of EEE products, media attention on hazardous spills incidents to monitoring and projecting of WEEE data. The timeline starts with the first EU Waste Framework Directive of 1977.  

Spaces of Repair (w. title) 

CRA / 2020 

*WEEE = Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment

Current research into the spatial movements of e-waste and alternative approaches to e-waste processing with a specific focus on repair communities, repair infrastructure and the question of repair within market regulations and private property rights.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream, with a vast majority, 98 per cent, occuring pre-consumption along extraction of minerals, processing and production of the devices (s. Josh Lepawsky, Reassembling Rubbish, MIT Press, 2018). 

The dominant narrative in EU legislations and directives regarding WEEE has been on establishing recycling infrastructure and supporting the establishment of recycling initiatives. Recycling of WEEE means the shredding of devices to gain access to only a fraction of the contained materials under energy intensive processes. Processes of reuse and repair, in contrast, preserve a vast share of embodied energies within electronic devices, by extending a product’s usability, lifetime and subsequently postponing the need for new materials to be extracted and processed. In official literature on WEEE, reuse and repair are listed as second priority to prevent wastegrowth, just after design decisions. Nevertheless, repair and reuse have not gained relevant attention in fleshed out strategies and plans proposed to address the question of e-waste and have been excluded from repair and reuse related funding opportunities.