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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 00:01 GMT 01:01 UK
The e-waste man mountain
WEEE man on London's South Bank
Components include: (1) PC screens; (2) printers; (3) industrial lights; (4) satellite dishes; (5) computer mice; (6) toasters; (7) vacuum cleaners; (8) heaters; (9) washing machines; (10) microwaves

A three-tonne humanoid figure made out of electronic waste is being unveiled on London's South Bank.

To illustrate the size of the e-waste problem, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has built the sculpture, which weighs three tonnes and stands seven metres tall.

It's a rapidly growing waste stream, faster than average household waste because people are continually replacing out-of-date equipment
Claire Wilton
Friends of the Earth

It is made up of the average quantity of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) an individual disposes of in a lifetime, including five fridges, 12 kettles and 35 mobile phones.

The "WEEE man" will be displayed outside City Hall on London's South Bank for 28 days before touring other parts of the country, including the Eden Project in Cornwall.

A European Union WEEE directive is expected to be introduced in the UK in early 2006, which makes producers of consumer electronics responsible for the recycling and disposal of goods returned to them at the end of their life.

Its implementation was delayed by the government because it requires a lot of communication between local authorities, councils and the technology industry.

The RSA hopes the striking figure on the South Bank will raise public awareness of WEEE and prompt consumers, retailers, designers and manufacturers to focus on recycling, reuse, repair, refurbishment, and sustainable manufacturing.

See the sculpture made from household junk

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