December 13, 2011 in Appropriate Technology
Waste2Watts, based in Atlant, GA, is a for-profit social entreprise with a mission to address energy poverty in the developing world by creating innovative products from repurposed electronic waste.
W2W’s flagship product is the ENZI interface, a low-cost Uninterruptible Power Supply, manufactured using a recycled computer power supply or power cord coupled with a recycled car battery.
The ENZI interface responds to two issues:
1. Power outages in developing countries. Power outages are a daily fact of life for 100s of millions of people. Power outages are obviously annoying – but beyond annoying, they become especially critical in situations like hospital operations. The ENZI is a cheap and simple solution to provide hours of backup power during an unexpected power outage.
2. Proliferation of e-waste. Every year, 400 million units of electronic waste are discarded, representing only 2% of landfill waste by mass, but up to 70% of the hazardous heavy metals. The ENZI is a great solution for not only redirecting electronic waste from landfills, but building something new out of that dangerous but valuable waste – kind of like Free Geek‘s solution for e-waste.
W2W plans to launch operations in India in 2012 and establish a local and sustainable solution through the development of micro-franchise product factories.
W2W has a ways to go before scaling up the ENZI and creating an efficient way of collecting e-waste … but I’m already wondering what other products they have up their sleeves beyond the ENZI.
Basically, I get really excited about both recycling and energy – but there’s nothing I love more than combining the two. Waste2Watts. Right on.
Here’s a comprehensive video explaining the history, product, and business model of the ENZI project.