In the rubbish removal business, WEEE is a shorthand way of saying “waste electrical and electronic equipment.” In other words, WEEE is electrical waste. Every fiber of the WEEE Man is made of electrical waste, and according to his creator, his own personal Frankenstein, he represents the monster we as humans have created when our WEEE rubbish removal hits the landfills.
How Did WEEE Man Come About?
Back in 2004, The Royal Society For the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) celebrated its 250th anniversary! As a non-profit organization dedicated to a “principled and prosperous society,” this significant anniversary resulted in a new five part 21st Century RSA Manifesto. The environmental portion of this manifesto was, “Moving Towards a Zero Waste Society.”
To drive this message home, the RSA and its financial partner, Cannon Europe, commissioned a sculpture made from WEEE. The designer of WEEE Man was none other than the London based Paul Bonomini but it was actually fabricated by Stage One Creative Services. While Paul Bonomini has done other large scale public sculptures, this is perhaps his most impressive work to date and has certainly become his most notorious.
In 2004, the WEEE Man was installed on the South Bank of London. However, it is rumored that the WEEE Man became restless in this location and wanted to make an even more powerful statement. In 2005, he relocated to the Eden Project in Cornwall.
What Are the Physical Attributes of WEEE Man?
The WEEE Man may not be a superhero (yet) but he stands 7 meters high (22.97 feet) and weighs 3.3 tonnes of WEEE (3300 kilograms or 7275.25 pounds)! This imposing beast, which looms high above visitors to the Eden Project, makes a lasting impression that would be difficult to remove from the memory of anyone who has personally witnessed the WEEE Man. Perhaps the WEEE Man will haunt everyone who sees him into recycling and reusing their WEEE.
The WEEE Man is made of thirty-three different kinds of WEEE! His brain is composed of computer parts. His ears are made of satellite dishes and his teeth are composed of computer mice (the old fashioned type used in 2004). His sinuous muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels are made from WEEE waste like old lawnmowers, washing washing machines, mobile phones, toasters, kettles, televisions, electric fans, radios, printers, and even a playstation. The amount of WEEE in WEEE Man represents the average amount of WEEE a UK citizen living in 2004 was destined to throw out in her lifetime!
The WEEE Man’s stature is rather daunting as one looks up at his fierce expression and views in person his formidable body stance. In fact, he looks a bit reminiscent of the harrowing mother alien in the classic 1979 thriller movie, “Alien,” starring Sigourney Weaver. This may be the exact effect the artist was going for since the WEEE Man gives one the impression he could easily rise from the earth in the landfill and destroy the world!
Getting the Message Out About the Importance of Recycling Rubbish Removal
The WEEE Man is an towering sculture that reminds us all of the overwhelming amount of electrical waste that is currently filling our UK landfills! He creates a memorable visual when mere words aren’t enough to fully impress upon people the magnitude of this problem. he conveys an unforgettable message without speaking a word!
There’s an interpretive sign by the WEEE Man in the Eden Project that asks the simple yet provocative question, “Why Is WEEE a problem?” The sign goes on to explain that we get our electrical equipment extra cheap these days and it doesn’t last that long. In fact, even before the end of its natural life, while the item is still working, we often end up throwing it in the bin and waiting for the rubbish removal men to haul it away and out of our lives only to be forgotten and replaced by something new and shiny.
The Future of the WEEE Man and the Rubbish Removal of WEEE
The Eden Project is currently raising money to move the WEEE Man to a new location. The idea is to demonstrate that he wants to get out of the landfill and have his parts mined and recycled. Mining is a growing trend for the rubbish removal of WEEE in landfills. For example, the Eden Project makes a special point that there are now more mobile phones than there are people on Planet Earth.
Each mobile phone contains gold, a precious and limited resource, the mining of which destroys the environment. Perhaps the gold for future mobile phones can be mined from the landfills and then recycled and reused in the next generation of mobile phones. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet the environmental manifesto of the RSA and recycle our mobile phones to the point of creating ZERO waste going forward?
The WEEE Man may lead us into this zero waste brave new world! Perhaps then his grimace will be replaced by a smile!