Let's say you're an industrial designer toiling away and designing electronic consumer products. During the process you picture your design sitting in someone's house, providing them with joy and functionality. You hope they'll appreciate how tight you've gotten the tolerances, how clean you've made the lines, how ergonomic the controls are, how pretty the colors.
One thing you typically don't picture: Some burly guy tearing your design to shreds, in an even worse manner than your senior crit, because he's physically tearing it to shreds. But that's eventually what's gonna happen to your lovingly designed object, unless it goes into landfill or you've somehow single-handedly conquered obsolescence.
Check out this video by Electronic Recyclers International on how e-waste is actually recycled, it's pretty eye-opening. I hope they start showing videos like this in design school (if they haven't already) to inspire the next generation to design things so that they not only fit together well, but come apart in a manner that facilitates their materials being harvested. In the meantime, there's hammers.