A 300-ton solution to the problem of electronic waste

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The Independent Online

He is a hulking 300-ton android with washing machine drums for vertebrae, blue cabling for veins and internal organs constructed from toasters and vacuum cleaners.

He is a hulking 300-ton android with washing machine drums for vertebrae, blue cabling for veins and internal organs constructed from toasters and vacuum cleaners.

The imposing 24ft-high form of the "Weee Man" loomed yesterday like a futuristic robot on the banks of the Thames in London as an environmental reminder against electronic waste to bemused commuters and tourists.

The humanoid, commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and designed by Paul Bonomini, took three months to construct. It was based on the average weight of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Weee) that a single person disposes of in a lifetime.

Its hefty body includes five fridges, 12 kettles, 35 mobile phones and seven vacuum cleaners, as well as a wealth of other electronic detritus.

The RSA hopes the striking form on a grass verge next to Tower Bridge will raise public awareness of electronic waste and encourage recycling and sustainable manufacturing.

Mr Bonomini said the seven-metre structure had an eerie and intimidating quality in order to have the greatest impact on the public. "It is full of electronic viscera and at night, its eyes glow, its heart beats and it's veins are illuminated in greens and yellows. I wanted it to be aggressive to highlight the subject matter. It looks like it's ripping itself out of the ground, which links it to the landfill issue," he said.

It will be on display outside City Hall until 27 May, after which it will relocate to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

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