The role of design education in electronic waste management

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Swetha AnandCecilia Xi Wang

Abstract: Fast-changing technology is resulting in increased consumption of electronics. According to Nanath and Kumar(2019), the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 reported that the amount of electronic waste produced in 2019 was 53.6 million metric tons. By 2030, they predict it to increase to 74Mt. This report also shows that, in 2019, the USA produced 6.92 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste), and only 15% was recycled. Severe environmental and human health problems will occur if the e-waste is not recycled appropriately. Unfortunately, the United States still needs a standard system for recycling electronic waste, including laptops, monitors, cell phones, printers, and television, which will lead to a low habit of recycling within the US population. The primary cause is the need for proper knowledge and awareness.One way to address the problem is to prepare the younger generation through education to create better habits and spread awareness of the importance of recycling electronic waste. This paper focuses on analyzing the existing quantitative and qualitative surveys on the role education methodologies have played in spreading this awareness of electronic waste recycling. Researchers are finding more about the most effective medium to communicate complex information about recycling and reusing electronic waste in students' courses. The curriculum should acknowledge how students can reuse electronic waste equipment rather than purchasing new devices. Additionally, gaps need to be addressed by the education system to build courses for students from all fields, as most of the existing studies specifically have electronic waste courses only for electrical or engineering students. This paper will propose an interdisciplinary approach to design education and electronic waste based on the existing literature and findings. The proposed approach will use design methodologies, such as divergent and convergent thinking, to educate students on electronic waste recycling and reuse. This will prepare the future generation to build the habit of recycling and reusing electronic waste and build a better environment.

Keywords: Design education, Interdisciplinary education, Electronic waste education, Design, driven E, Waste education

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003321

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