This is a good example of what leftists are talking about when we say that reducing the problem pollution and waste to the consuming habits of the average person, or (as often happens) specifically targeting the lives of people who are already among the poorest and most marginalized, is a fundamental error.

Here’s a man who is, relatively to virtually almost everyone else on the planet, rich, privileged and not lacking in social power, who can still be jailed on the wishes of corporate executives in the name of preserving profit by greatly reducing recycling/restoration of old computers. 

Unless the sort of overpopulation you’re talking about is an overpopulation of Microsoft executives, maybe start paying attention to the actual forces driving these problems instead of jumping straight to eugenics.

E-waste recycler Eric Lundgren loses appeal on computer restore disks, must serve 15-month prison term


Building Roads from Waste Plastic

Nelplast, a company in Ghana, is recycling waste plastic and turning it into pavement blocks. Currently, only 2% of waste plastic in Ghana is recycled, but Nelplast aim to change that. 

Scrap plastic is shredded and mixed with sand in a 60:40 ratio, creating durable tiles. They’re long lasting and require few resources to produce. Nelplast’s intention is to use these recycled plastic tiles to build roads in Ghana. They also sell roofing tiles, offer consultation for recycling companies, and their recycling machinery is made from scrap metal.

Nelplast Ghana Limited


Rachel Faller’s clothing manufacturing company Tonlé succeeds on scraps and she says other businesses can do it too.

Rachel Faller, founder of Tonlé designs,
hopes to provide an alternative to fast fashion by exhibiting her
Cambodia-based fashion brand as an example of eco-friendly,
human-centred manufacturing.

Boasting a zero-waste design
process, Tonlé’s designers work alongside a production team to produce
collections that incorporate even the smallest discarded scraps of waste
material. This is sourced from the cut-offs discarded by larger

“Like a chef sourcing local
fruits and vegetables for a seasonal meal, our design team can often be
found combing through literal tons of fabric cast aside by large
manufacturers to find the highest quality remnant fabrics,” reads the
company’s website.

The company goes a step further
by supporting local suppliers with a similar ethos. “This includes
buttons made from locally sourced clay, belt buckles carved from re-claimed scrap wood, and fabrics woven from remnant threads,” says the company.

More:  Zero-waste, ethical fashion is possible | Design Indaba

— d.n.

Here’s the punk in your solarpunk



We went to our local metal recycling place to look for cheap materials to build stuff with. I’ve written about it previously – fortunately I didn’t get too sick this time. We are not allowed to scavenge from our local dump which is something that bothers me greatly, but this place is something of a consolation. We’ve moved up from curb picking and dumpster diving in residential areas, because so much of the stuff we found was just poorly made crap. 

The stuff here is a mix of residential and commercial and sometimes even scientific – which is top notch manufacturing quality and materials.


Timing is everything. If you can get there right after people drop off stuff but before the machines come in, you can do very well. If you’re too late, the good stuff may be already taken, or just mangled by the machines – this is assuming they didn’t come in mangled though. This is some metal outdoor furniture and perhaps a red walker.

The owners of this facility are actually very nice and donate to a major local environmental group.


To be a successful scavenger, you must have excellent powers of observation – V is better than I am. To be more than just a hoarder though, it helps to have specific projects in mind. You see those horizontal metal things filled with yellow? Those are the remnants of an industrial or commercial walk in fridge/freezer. They cost gobs of money new, and are expensive even used, but V could really use one. He hopes to eventually cobble together enough good pieces to do so. 

This is the aluminum pile, so you pay by the weight of whatever the going rate for aluminum is.

Turnover is very high. 


If you hesitate, like I did, whatever you wanted can be destroyed before your eyes. This is mostly a pile of industrial scientific fridges (very high grade materials) and also a ton of printers. Some of the printers still had ink cartridges. This is a goldmine for anyone who has the tools, ability, and time to repair things – you know, DIY. Or who can just remember what kind of ink cartridge their printer uses.

A measuring tape is also immensely useful.

It’s also amazing to consider how expensive something once was, to what it is worth now. It’s a sobering look at how we use our resources. You are watching that machine demolish thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment. That’s a pile of Thermo fisher scientific fridges, each one sells for $3k+.

PV Solar panel that is FUBAR. This one was 4′ x 8′. 


Some of our scores today, our full bill was $15 

  • Big grayish thing – is an insulated, fire-blocking industrial scientific refrigerator door, it has a steel frame + polyurethane insulation. It is the current best combo of lightweight and insulative capacity. This will be the new cover for our new water heater.
  • Stainless steel mixing bowl
  • Long skinny blue things – Hole-punched tpost, with a powder-coated finish. It came from industrial steel shelving and can be used to build almost anything.
  • Red cube – is a steel milk crate, powder coated, can be used for hydroponics and also whatever.
  • Bag with tubing – this was found in the scientific equipment pile. It is high pressure, fiber reinforced PVC + silicone food grade 1/4″ pipe that can handle 450 PSI – it’s basically super goddamn fancy plumbing. aka RAUFILAM-E.  V is hoping to finally plumb the fridge with it so the ice maker makes ice. We usually run about 30 psi from our well so this is def overkill. This was thrown in for free…