internship —

E-Waste Arcades

Making recycling of electronic waste more sexy through design

one semester, full-time

E-Waste Arcades is a start-up in Eindhoven that makes old school arcade machines, like the classic Pac-Man arcades. Instead of throwing in a coin, people are encouraged to throw in their old mobile phone that is catching dust deep down in the drawer. Through the use of gamification E-Waste Arcades makes the recycling process more fun, while simultaneously creating more awareness around the issue of electronic waste through education programs, primarily targeted at elementary schools. The collected mobile phones are then either recycled or refurbished when possible, so that the materials will gain a new life.

Considering the small size of the start-up, I got the chance to get closely involved in various facets of the company. I reiterated the design and technology behind the machine that filters the objects inserted into the arcade so that the arcade’s state is more clearly communicated to the user. Another challenge I tackled was to make the filtering process more thorough. You would be surprised how creative kids can be in hacking the arcades to play more games. I also worked on the development of an Internet of Things platform used to connect the arcades. Furthermore, I learned a great deal about circular economy and design by exhibiting the arcades at fairs, conferences, and festivals within the sustainability sector.

I have always dreamt of starting my own design company one day. Being part of this start-up gave me a more adequate picture of what it takes to start a business. I have witnessed that it takes an incredible amount of commitment and passion to make it work, transforming a person in a full-fledged fighting machine, capable of overcoming obstacles thrown on your path. Super inspiring!

circular economy


Joris Petterson - chief designer & co-founder
Timmy de Vos - director & co-founder

Company website

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