Football Player Assembled from E-waste Scores an Environmental, Public Relations Touchdown with Cowboys Fans
He may not have been a first-round NFL draft pick, but his throwing arm—constructed from surplus power strips—definitely caught the attention of everyone who saw him. Tomi Lee, a football player assembled entirely from e-waste and wearing Dallas Cowboys team colors—made an impressive debut on the on the Dallas Cowboys Stadium football field during a Sims Recycling Solutions Earth Day electronics collection event.
When Chris York, Sims Recycling Solutions Account Executive – Municipal Contracts and Compliance, mentioned needing to find a visually compelling way to represent the Cowboys football franchise and Sims during the event to Tomi Wessel, Sims Recycling Solutions OEM coordinator, Wessel began to scheme.
“As Chris talked about what he needed, ideas started popping into my head about how to make a football player. I thought it would be easy to find the right parts and that it would be fun to take on the challenge,” said Wessel.
Working from Wessel’s specifications, the engineering department built a four-foot-tall skeleton to which she began attaching the different components to “flesh” out Tomi Lee’s form. Wessel used a small television for his head, a laser printer for his chest, an uninterruptable power supply for his pelvis, and tightly coiled wire for his waist and joints.
Wessel completed her first e-waste sculpture in just over a month. Although not built to take a hit, Tomi Lee proved to be one with the fans who toured the stadium.
“Everyone wanted to have their pictures taken with Tomi Lee,” said Wessel. “People could appreciate the amount of creativity and work that went into bringing him to life.” Wessel said there are tentative plans to have all the Dallas Cowboy players autograph Tomi Lee and then auction off the sculpture for charity. What is this promising e-waste artist’s next project? “There has been some discussion about me creating similar, smaller-scale themed statues for the main lobbies for each of our sites,” said Wessel. “For example, for Tennessee, I might build a cowboy strumming a guitar.” No matter what form Wessel’s next project takes, it will certainly elevate e-waste from trash to treasure.