Vienna project breathes new life into electronic waste while helping unemployed

Vienna’s Dismantling and Recycling Centre (DRZ) is creating upcycled products from electronic waste – including bracelets and necklaces made from wires, and clocks made from vinyl records – while also providing opportunities to unemployed people.

DRZ gives jobseekers temporary work to improve their chances of finding permanent jobs. The aim of the DRZ is to give their employees the skills that will help them to find a job more easily and create a foundation for their future careers.

Temporary work can be found in the dismantling department – which sorts, dismantles and recycles old electrical appliances; the reuse department which deals with repairs; and the Trash_Design department, which creates upcycled products from electronic waste.

Almost a fifth of all waste electrical and electronic equipment collected annually in Vienna – 1,500 tonnes – ends up at the DRZ. In the dismantling department, devices including small electrical appliances, washing machines and dishwashers are sorted and manually dismantled for recycling.

While employed at the DRZ under time bound contracts, employees receive supervision from experienced professionals in order to improve individual strength, reduce social isolation, overcome possible personal obstacles and provide active support to seek a new job.

The reuse department repairs old appliances such as turntables, radios and hi-fi equipment. In the Trash_Design department, components are crafted into upcycled products like jewellery, furniture and accessories.

Dismantling and Recycling Centre

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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