[CONTEST CLOSED] Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: a Gently Used Contest!

Community Manager

UPDATE: This contest has ended! Thanks to all who entered — we loved seeing how you gave your legacy tech a new lease on life. And, big congrats to our three randomly selected winners: @degarris , @JThoms  and @Naveed. Stayed tuned for your swag delivery!


It’s National Recycling Day here in the U.S. and we thought why not repurpose one of our past contests for a little recycling fun


Electronic waste or e-waste continues to be the fastest growing source of waste globally. In fact, each year we generate around 40 million tons of e-waste worldwide — that’s equivalent to throwing away 800 laptops every second! Worse still, less than 13% of e-waste ends up being recycled. Due to the heavy metals and other hazardous materials e-waste contains, it is the leading contributor to toxic waste.


It is more important than ever that we do our part to reuse, upcycle, or recycle old tech so it doesn’t end up in landfills. That’s why Cisco has a Takeback and Reuse program to decommission your end-of-life equipment in an environmentally safe manner. It’s also why we host our annual Recycling Day Contest. We love seeing all of the creative ways you come up with to repurpose old tech! 


While there have been many unique and innovative upcycles you all have found over the years, here are just a few of our favorites from last year’s contest:


You could say we’re a big FAN of this project. @MRT320 made this office fan from discarded PSUs to cool down during a heatwave. 😎


MRT320 office fan .jpeg


Of course when it comes to upcycling, beauty serves its own form of utility! Take this garden decor, for example. @zRobert turned this tree invisible using harddrive platters. 🌳


zRobert invisible tree.jpeg


Now let’s see your projects! For this contest, we want to know how you are transforming your busted, broken, or simply outdated tech to give it new life as a completely reimagined masterpiece or by passing it on to someone who will get plenty of use from it. Show us those pics of your old MX appliance turned paperweight! Got grand plans but no photographic evidence? That’s okay, too. You can simply tell us about your project or the plans you have in store to reduce e-waste through reusing or recycling old tech.


How to Win


In a comment on this post, submit your repurposed or upcycled tech as an image or via a brief description and be entered to win swag. Submit your entry on this blog post before 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, November 21st (11/21/2023). We’ll then draw three at random to win a Meraki H2Go Bali Water Bottle! Your entries will be public and visible throughout the contest.


Meraki H2Go Water Bottle.png


The fine print


Kind of a big deal

Best of luck to all 


While we haven't made any fancy projects out of old equipment, we did look for other ways to give our computer equipment an extended life, instead of sending it to the recyclers.


I work at a community college in Idaho. A small school district a few counties away had needed a new elementary school for a number of years, but their bond vote kept failing. So, they lowered the bond amount and got just enough to build the school building. They didn't have any money to equip the school. The seven people, myself included, that were in charge of replacing all of our computer equipment, and disposing of the old equipment, heard about this and decided to donate all of our old computer equipment to that school district, specifically to equip that new elementary school. We have a five year replacement cycle, so they were getting hundreds of five-year-old computers for free. They were very happy, to say the least. We have kept up this partnership with them to this day.

Comes here often

Technology has a beauty inside that many people don't get a chance to see. So I tried a few things with some equipment that was destined for the recycle bin or (gasp) the trash... these are a few of my first projects just to get a feel for what I could do. I have a few other unique items I've been saving for when I'm really comfortable with disassembly and display, but here are a few... (yes it still annoys me that the SSD logo is upside down... only noticed that after the glue dried) 

750GB HDD and a 120GB SSD750GB HDD and a 120GB SSDiPhone 4iPhone 4Logitech "Darkfield" laser equipped mouseLogitech "Darkfield" laser equipped mouse

Kind of a big deal

We have all heard the saying it's only good for being a door stop.



So here is an old external USB 2.0 hard drive purchased in 2012 that is a massive 2TB which is now used as a door stop that prevents my office door blowing shut when my window is open. 


Thinking about it a bit more if I still had the power supply I would load a single image of an actual door stop onto it just for the fun of it. 






I always play with the technology scraps, I out led lights in keyboard back in 2004 by making the wire connection scroll lock, I do not have the pics of that project. Now the below, I put 


By using an old CD ROM and old hard drive, to make a clock. right hand side is hour, left hand side shows the minutes. I put the magnets in my cupboard 🙂 working on another project using the hard drive magnets to generate free electricity and store it in capacitors Its not completed yet. 🙂 




Here to help

I am a classic car guy, one of my co-workers took the metal bottoms of old Cisco switches that were no longer functional and used them to line the rusted out floors of his 1970 Chevelle SS as he was restoring it. They worked great!


When moving to our new site we found an old 20kg desktop UPS in the void above the office ceiling unfortunately it was beyond repair however instead of disposing of it the UPS now serves a new purpose as a very overkill doorstop.

Meraki Alumni (Retired)

UPDATE: This contest has ended! Thanks to all who entered — we loved seeing how you gave your legacy tech a new lease on life. And, big congrats to our three randomly selected winners:  @degarris , @JThoms , and @Naveed  . Stayed tuned for your swag delivery!

Kind of a big deal

Congrats to the winners  @degarris , @JThoms , and @Naveed 

Getting noticed

Congrats to ALL the winners!