Part of the Personal computing glossary:

Upcycling is the practice of creating a useable product from waste or unwanted items or adapting an existing product in some way to add value. The purpose of upcycling is reducing waste and improving the efficiency of resource use.

Here are a few examples of upcycling:

  • Buildings constructed from shipping containers or materials salvaged from a dump.
  • A laptop case made from fused plastic shopping bags.
  • Sculpture created from junkyard finds.
  • Broken electronic toys adapted to become musical instruments (known as circuit-bending).
  • Jewelry fashioned from old computer parts.
  • A bench made from wooden pallets.
  • A blender integrated into a bicycle so that it works as the bike is pedaled.

Upcycling is a variation on recycling. Another variation, downcycling, is the practice of breaking down waste and unwanted items to their components or materials.

This was last updated in December 2012
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Microsoft OneDrive

    - OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) is an online cloud storage service from Microsoft. (SearchConsumerization.com)

  • term boosting

    - Term boosting is the ability to assign higher importance to specific words in a search engine query. In Google, for example, advanced search options allow you to identify words that must be found i... (WhatIs.com)

  • Amazon

    - Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. The company was originally a book seller but has expanded to sell a wide variety of consumer goods and digital media as well as its own electronic dev... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Personal computing

    - Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About upcyclingPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.