E-waste, the environmental thread of the digital transformation

The INTERFERENCE Community is drawing attention to the fastest growing waste stream that results from using phones, computers, and all kinds of digital devices. Collecting, sorting, and recycling the discarded devices are basically not existing and the informal processing of e-waste damages habitats and health.

Where do our electronics go after we get rid of them?

Electronic waste is an umbrella term for discarded electronic devices. It encompasses electronics destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery, or disposal. What is e-waste?

Annie Leonard: The Story of Electronics. on: youtube.com. 4 November 2010.

In 2019 alone, the world generated 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste. Asia produced the lion’s share – 24.9 million tonnes – followed by the Americas (13.1 million tonnes) and Europe (12 million tonnes), while Africa and Oceania generated 2.9 and 0.7 million tonnes respectively.

Graphic: United Nations University / Nienke Haccoû

E-Waste is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fuelled mainly by more people buying electronic products with shorter life cycles and fewer options for repair.

E-waste contributes directly to global warming. Dumped temperature-exchange equipment, found in fridges and air conditioners, can slowly release greenhouse gases. About 98 million tonnes are thought to leak from scrapyards each year, equivalent to 0.3% of global emissions from the energy sector.


E-Waste Monitor 2020
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Ranjita Ganesan: Cleaning up India’s mountains of e-waste On: mircosoft.com. 9 December 2020.
Sebastien Farnaud: These microbes are being used to clean up toxic electronic waste. On: World Economic Forum Online. 24 August 2020.
Vanessa Forti: Global electronic waste up 21% in five years, and recycling isn’t keeping up. On: World Economic Forum Online. 20 July 2020.
umweltbundesamt.de: Electrical and Electronic Waste in Germany. 20 July 2020.

Tracking e-waste

Colin Lecher: AMERICAN TRASH (tracking e-waste). On: The Verge. 4 December 2019.

Processing e-waste

ITU: How Switzerland is winning the battle against e-waste. 11 October 2019.

Informal processing of e-waste

Large parts of the worldwide e-waste arrive in developing countries with a significant volume exported illegally as “second hand goods”. In 2019, only 17.4% of the 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste was properly collected and recycled. Informal processing of e-waste leads to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution. Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs, contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants that involve significant risk to the health of workers and their communities.

The film “E-Wasteland (2012)” by David Fedele presents a visual portrait of unregulated e-waste recycling in Ghana.


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Call +21651815198, we will come to get them! The ELECTRICAL DISORDER team is searching for shiny CDs that are not in use anymore for an art installation that Haifa Ouerfelli is working on.

Call +21651815198, we will come to get it!

The ELECTRICAL DISORDER team is searching for old-fashion TV’s for an art installation that Oussama Menchaoui is working on.

We are looking for
to join the project
If you are interested or send us an application or call Mohsen +(216) 26 22 11 98.

Art Mediators

The YOUNG MASTERS`Exhibition is planned for December 2020, but might shift schedule due to the Corona restrictions. We still will start with the preparations. If you are interested in being part of YMP’s Art Mediators team, please fill the following form and add your CV


For the YOUNG MASTERS’ Exhibition, we are looking art mediators!

6 November 2020


For all young artists who are interested in light and media-based art in public space, INTERFERENCE 2020 is launching the YOUNG MASTERS’ PROGRAM.

DEADLINE 20 October 2020

Please fill the following form and add your CV and some examples of existing works