Building speakers from recycled parts inspired handiwork

30.1.2023 9.36Updated: 30.1.2023 10.51
Parts of a recycled speaker on a table.
The workshop on building a speaker from recycled parts was held at the Tapiola Library on 26 November 2022.Photo: Margit Lindholm

The City of Espoo is carrying out Green Transition Demonstrations with six different companies, including a speaker workshop for consumers by RD Physics Oy. The demonstrations promote products and services that are emission-free and conserve natural resources or promote biodiversity.

Two workshops organised in November and December 2022 at the libraries of Tapiola and Otaniemi taught the participants to build a speaker using components from old speakers and recycled plastic. The demonstrations surveyed residents’ interest in recycling materials. “The participants were very interested in the origin of the components and the environmental friendliness of the material,” says Kim-Niklas Antin from RD Physics, who taught the workshop. The components were disassembled from old speakers and the case was 3D printed from polylactide (PLA). The aim of the speaker workshop demonstrations is to increase the recycling of the large magnets and earth metals contained by speakers. The recycling rate of the materials of the loudspeakers produced is up to 96%.

The workshops were rewarding, and the participants experienced feelings of success. A circular economy product can be created with your own hands: “When you buy a new product, its origin story remains opaque, but when you remanufacture, each speaker is unique and has a story. The fact that the participants were able to assemble their own speakers further increased the personal connection, and there were very focused expressions on people’s faces in the workshops as they sought to achieve the most perfect possible result with their own speakers,” says Antin from RD Physics. 

Careful work was rewarded when the first song burst from the speakers, making the participants’ smile – recycled components can be turned into a beautiful-sounding speaker, and it is also a fun experience!Photo: Margit Lindholm

“The purpose of the demonstration was to increase residents’ understanding of the circular economy, and at the same time, the company got the opportunity to test its concept,” says Veli-Pekka Korhonen from the City of Espoo’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.

The Green Transition Demonstration is a part of The Implementation Pathway for Environments that Accelerate Sustainable Growth (KETO) project. The project is implemented in cooperation with the City of Espoo, VTT, Aalto University and Omnia. The project is funded by European Union’s REACT-EU ERDF and is part of the European Union’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.

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