South Salt Lake man upcycling old electronics, giving them to less fortunate

Mar 16, 2023, 9:19 AM | Updated: 9:31 am

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — A handyman in South Salt Lake is taking donations of e-waste items and upcycling them to give away to the less fortunate.

Klay Newman is a handyman by day who specializes in woodworking and technology-centered projects, but he upcycles old electronics in his free time. He started the passion project a couple of years ago.

“Knowing that there’s so many useful, perfectly functioning and good components, if not whole piece items and stuff that people just toss and throw away, I started asking my friends, anytime I saw they had something sitting in the corner or weren’t used, I’d ask them if they want that, they’re just going to toss it, to let me know and I’ll come pick it up,” Newman said.

Recently, he opened it up to the public, posting about his work on Nextdoor. He asked people to drop off their old electronics, big and small, at Glitter Armada, an artist co-op in South Salt Lake.

“I’ll take whatever it is they have off their hands so I can turn it into something else,” he said.

Newman uses components from each piece to turn it into something new, make art or, he repairs the original item.

He donates many of the upcycled items to those in need. For example, he has given rechargeable power packs to people experiencing homelessness.

“A lot of homeless people still have cell phones, it’s such a powerful tool and you need it for so many things, looking for a job, whatever it might be,” Newman said. “If you think about it, they don’t have consistent access to power. So I got to thinking about it and I thought, this might be an immediate way I can help them with that problem.”

Newman said his passion for cutting down on waste inspired his upcycling.

“Given our burgeoning population and explosion of technology…being able to offset that, even if it’s a tiny amount, personally, then I like to see that done. Every little thing helps,” he said.

Newman said going forward, he’d like to bring in volunteers to teach them how he upcycles the items and get them involved. You can reach Newman on the Nextdoor App, through Glitter Armada, or on Instagram.

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South Salt Lake man upcycling old electronics, giving them to less fortunate