Monster Electric needs your help!

We should all be familiar with the term ‘monster’. We might think of them as a gigantic purple-furred creature with fangs and a frightening face or even come into contact with a physical one in our lifetimes. Running riot in our imaginations as children, growing older we forget about our furry friends or foes.


The question is, are they mythical? Are they nightmarish?



The joyous 80 children of Otterbourne certainly don’t think so! As they practice to make the e-Waste project with #SOTSEF a major hit, their rap number ‘Monster Electric’, highlights the on-going scrap between such waste and the planet. To his distaste, the “electronic pit, has got too deep”.

We couldn’t agree more. 40 million tons of electronic waste is produced every year and therefore e-Waste is certainly not a mythical monster taking over our planet! But, e-Waste doesn’t have to be terrifying.

With just under a week until the e-Waste project takes off, we took to Instagram to ask some of your burning questions about electronic waste.

Here’s how you can follow Monster Electric’s footsteps in tackling electronic waste.


I keep all of my old devices in a box in my loft. Is this okay?

According to a report in 2019, nearly 75% of old electronics are stored in households! Recycling and repair options are available. You can keep your devices for longer by utilising networks such as the ‘Restart Project’ who help people repair their broken electrical devices, therefore reducing the need to discard them so soon.

If you no longer need your devices, try donating or selling them! Provided they are in good condition, you can take your old devices to charities, high street shops such as Cex or even sell them on if they still have life left in them. Consciously knowing what products you buy also will impact long term reduction and awareness of electronic waste.

If these recycling options are not applicable to you, ‘dead computers’ (and more!) can be disposed of correctly in recycling centres. You can search for your nearest recycling location at Worried about your data? There are centres that offer wiping of your digital identity such as Mazuma mobile that are trusted in recycling old mobile phones.

For more awareness, you can join campaigns such as the Right to Repair Europe which aim to “fight the premature obsolescence of our electronics” and pressure manufacturers to design repairable devices to end the throwaway linear economy.


Why is electronic recycling important?

40 million tons of electronic waste is produced every year and recycling them is important for several reasons.

Firstly, they are a rich source of raw materials! For every 1 million phones that are recycled, 35,274lbs of copper, 772lbs of silver, 75lbs of gold and 33lbs of palladium can be recovered! Similarly, as much as 7% of the world’s gold may be contained in e-Waste meaning that there is a hundred times more gold in a tonne of e-Waste than in a tonne of gold ore.

Secondly, recycling is important to avoid toxic substances being released into the environment. A proper processing and recycling process can prevent toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium being released into the environment.

Thirdly, according to the United Nations, international movement of hazardous waste means that electronic waste is transported elsewhere, raising concerns of health risks and piling up of waste without actually tackling the problem. In 2014, the UK was responsible for generating 51.8lbs per person of electronic waste and Basel Action Network (BAN) revealed that the UK was the chief offender in Europe when it comes to illegally exporting e-waste to countries outside of the EU.

Therefore, electronic recycling is important to tackle much wider problems of health and global resources. Donating, repairing and re-using old devices can impact the number of new devices being made and bought.


How much e-Waste is currently recycled globally?

Only 20% of global e-waste is formally recycled, according to a report in 2019. The remaining 80% is often incinerated or dumped in landfills. The recycling process is like any other whereby waste is collected, shredded, sorted and separated, then put for sale as recycled materials.

It takes us to make a change. If we can recycle and reuse our plastics, glass and paper then we can recycle electronic devices too!


How much energy does it take to manufacture a computer and monitor?  

It takes 530lbs of fossil fuel, 48lbs of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor. Now that is astonishing!


What is the most environmentally friendly smartphone?

Companies are striving to be eco-friendlier and environmentally conscious. Fairphone has been rated one of the top eco-friendly smartphones in 2020 already. They allow you to replace parts easily and the bits inside are ethically mines and manufactured!

Fairphone’s mission is to make fairer phones with responsibly sources materials and proves to be an eco-friendly alternative on the market.


What can we do about e-Waste? Is there anything being done already?

A total of 67 countries have legislation in place to deal with the e-Waste they generate. Campaigns such as Right to Repair Europe which strive for more to be done besides exporting waste, pressuring manufactures to design repairable devices to end the throwaway linear economy.

The most important thing you can do is be conscious of your electronic devices and what you do with them. Reduce, reuse, repair, restart, recycle!

E-Waste doesn’t have to be a terrifying monster. But it is down to us to make a friend out of what could turn into a hideous beast.


When is your performance? Are there tickets left?

We’re booming through the systems on Saturday 7t March 2020 at 2.30pm in The Cube at the University of Southampton in partnership with #SOTSEF – Southampton University Science and Engineering Festival.

Tickets are still available.

Click the link below or visit the event page on the SÓN Orchestra Facebook page.



We hope to see you there!