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An E-Waste Retrospective: Episode 1

Nimble Retro E-Waste: The Sony Walkman

Electronic waste, or “e-waste,” is all your old or unused gadgets destined for reuse, recycling, or unfortunately, the landfill.

E-waste is also the world’s fastest growing stream of trash. 50 MILLION TONS generated each year. That’s a lot of trash. And it’s expected to grow.

With less than 20% properly recycled, it’s a massive problem. Yet, few are talking about it. 

Here’s the thing. At Nimble, we make electronics. Meaning, we have tons of skin in the game. But, unlike most electronics companies, we don’t pretend e-waste isn’t an issue. Because it is. Big time.

And so, we’ve made it our mission to become e-waste neutral by 2022, and recycle up to one pound of your e-waste for every Nimble product you purchase. Could be your old stuff, or your Nimble product itself when the time comes.

Exciting, right? Well, to inject some energy into the e-waste conversation, we thought we’d get your nostalgic juices flowing and appeal to your child-like fascination with classic gadgets and gizmos.

Each Friday, we’re highlighting the most memorable tech from the 1980s, 90s and early 00s, including snapshots and factoids about each featured product. Many of which you may have sitting in a box or drawer somewhere.

Also, be sure to read more about the One-for-One Tech Recovery Project in partnership with our friends at Homeboy Electronics Recycling, and how you can get involved here.

First up in our weekly nod to the forgotten gems of e-waste…


Sony Walkman Sports Edition

In 1989, if you listened to tunes while at the beach, riding your bike, or in the backseat of your parents’ car, you probably relied on this exquisite piece of Japanese engineering. The “Sports” edition is well-known for its vibrant color, sub-par headphone quality and speedy, fast-forward function. A must-have for any child, teen or adult with a taste for sound, style, and Prince’s smash hit, “Batdance.”

Like most popular products that were once brand names (think Jet Ski or Rollerblades), the name “Walkman” became synonymous with portable cassette players. Undeniably influential on 1980s culture, the Walkman led to cassettes outselling vinyl for the first time ever, as well as the meteoric rise of the aerobics craze!

Sony Walkman Sport 1980s Ad

As defining a cultural artifact as they come, the Sony Walkman marks a critical turning point for modern society, and is well-deserving as the first selection in our ongoing ode to retro e-waste.


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