I came across something truly amazing today. It is Meta-Morphose,
an initiative in 2006 to re-purpose existing objects in order to
prolong their life using rapid prototyping. A standard Thermos flask
could for example at the end of its life be turned into a portable lamp
or patio light with the addition of some 3D printed parts to it. You can find pictures of the result here.
The same Canadian team is now working on Metacycle. I asked one of the team members, Philippe Lalande, a professor at École de design industriel of Université de Montréal, about the project. They are currently using, "Crowdsourcing to canvas the design energies of an international
creative community in proposing how products could be transformed
through the use of Rapid Prototyping." He also said that so far they have had 130 submissions of new ideas. Their first contest was won by, "an office wall clock, was proposed by the Portugese designers Botelho and Gouveia." The clock is composed of recycled markers and a 3D printed housing. I personally also really like their VHS video tape, tape dispenser.
I think that this is a great initiative. On the Metacycle site you can submit your own solutions to recycling challenges as well as rate other people's solutions.