When we think of fixing something that was broken here at the shop, it sparks some excitement. As silly as that sounds, it is a challenge that we look forward to. We do everything we can to troubleshoot the problem and fix it. We want to save the customer from having to spend tons of money to buy a new device. We want the satisfaction of making something work again. That is the best feeling. When you push that power button, and that laptop turns on after being dead or not booting at all. That is a really rewarding feeling. The real reason we love repairing your broken devices is the fact that we saved another device from landing in the trash. It is usable again, we made it last another year or more and its one less device in the landfill. We walk the fine line between repairing or replacing the device and repair won. Let me tell you, it is a fine line. Especially when it comes to someone choosing to spend their hard-earned money to fix a broken device or purchase something new and shiny with a warranty. The price must be right for most people to choose to repair instead of purchasing a new device.
In this modern fast paced world, one topic that is finally discussed more is electronic waste. The Right to Repair bill which would make repairs more accessible to repair shops and individuals wanting to fix their own devices is a step in the right direction. It will hopefully help in the battle with electronic waste however, more legislation is needed to address the impact of the waste itself. It needs to be discussed and it needs to be a topic that we think about. Where do all the old, unusable, unrepairable, un-repaired, phased out, obsolete, broken devices wind up? We need to think about this when making the decision or whether to repair a device or not. We need to think about the long-term consequences of what is happening when we throw out a device. Demand of these devices are so high that we forget to think about the waste factor.
Did you know?
It is estimated that 1 billion phones and over 250 billion laptops are manufactured each year? These newer devices are made to break so manufacturers can sell more. In the meantime, these same companies are really doing much if anything at all to help with this growing problem. About 151 million cell phones end up in landfills every year. This results in heavy metals seeping into the ground. Although electronic waste is not the largest waste stream, it causes over about 70 percent of the waste streams toxic environmental effects. Electronic waste does not just refer to computers and cellphones; it includes TV’s, radios, and other household devices. We believe that many of these items are being recycled but that is not true. An estimated 59 million tons of electronics wind up in the landfill each year and it is expected to increase. It is hard to know what happens to our electronic waste when we recycle it or trash it. For a long time, the US shipped electronic waste to developing countries and China to be recycled because it was a cheap alternative to handling it here.
There are articles online covering all these topics and more. Just a quick search and you can find a wealth of information electronic waste. To us here at our little repair shop, repairing just a few devices a day is our way of doing something. It is the small part we play to help with this giant and growing environmental problem. So, when you have broken device, please consider repairing it rather than replacing it. We know, sooner or later you will need a new updated version that can handle new software and is faster with more storage, but maybe making your device last 4-5 years instead of 2 years can be how you play your tiny part as well. Maybe choose to get it fixed!
Resources to check out for more information on e-waste: