Photographer Benjamin Von Wong recently teamed up with computer maker Dell to try and make recycling "cool." Together, they took 4,100 lbs (~1,860 Kg) of electronic waste and used it to build three futuristic scenes that show how e-waste can be used to power the future of tech instead of languishing in some landfill—in other words: how e-waste can serve as a bridge between the past to the future.

For the past several years, Von Wong has taken his talent for capturing and creating incredible scenes in-camera, and used it to help push for various causes in the world of conservation. That's how he wound up photographing this model in shark infested waters, or capturing these images of 'mermaids' swimming in 10,000 plastic water bottles.

His latest project finds him continuing his quest for conservation and social responsibility, this time alongside computer company Dell.

As Ben explains in his blog post about the project, he got in touch with Dell after finding out that the company has the world’s largest global recycling program. But for all of their cool recycling tech—like, for example, 'Closed Loop Recycling' that reuses metals and plastic from old computers to build new ones—the company struggles to get people to recycle.

"After all, how do you convince people that recycling e-waste can be cool?" ask Von Wong. These photos—and the associated E-Waste Challenge giveaway—is supposed to be the answer to that question... or at least the beginnings of a conversation.

Wistron GreenTech gave Ben 4,100 lbs of e-waste to use on this project—the approximate amount a single person will generate over the course of their lifetime—and together with 50 volunteers over the course of 10 days, they build three 'epic' sets using simple tools, glue, paint, and wood.

Using keyboards, laptops, and circuit boards, Ben worked together with David Jeter and used forced perspective to try and make the sets look larger than life.

Here are a few behind the scenes photos of the build process:

And here is what all of that hard work produced. Ten days of building and shooting for just three epic hero shots:

In Ben's mind, however, the whole process was definitely worth it.

"It took only 4 hours to clean up 10 days of hard work," he laments, "but the images will hopefully live on forever and empower every individual to tell their friends and family to Rethink electronic waste, Recycle them responsibly, so that responsible companies like Dell can Revive them as brand new computer parts."

To read the whole story and see many more behind the scenes photos and details about things like lighting and set design, head over to Ben's blog by clicking here.

And if you want to join Ben on his recycling mission, head over to RethinkandRecycle.com to read about his E-Waste challenge—he's giving away 1,000 signed postcards and 3 signed 24x36-inch prints to readers who are willing to recycle any e-waste they have lying around!


All photographs by Benjamin Von Wong and used with permission.