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Will Electronics ‘Right to Repair’ Laws Fix the Growing E-Waste Problem?

e-wasteElectronics recyclers say so-called “right to repair” laws, which require manufacturers to provide access to manuals and electronics parts for their products, would help address the growing e-waste problem, according to a Waste Dive report.

Fives states — South Dakota, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nebraska — have introduced right to repair or fair repair bills since 2014, but all have been killed in the states’ legislatures. Manufacturers, including Apple, Cisco and Xerox, have opposed these efforts and lobbied against the right to repair bills.

“When there’s no competition for repair, guess what manufacturers do? They price their repair to be a reason to buy a new one,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of The Repair Association, told Waste Dive. “It’s not nefarious, it’s just obvious.”

Globally, more than 20 million tons of e-waste are produced every year, with the US generating about 3.4 million tons of that. The EPA estimates e-waste is growing at a rate of two to three times faster than any other regulated waste stream.

The Repair Associations has been leading advocacy efforts promoting right to repair laws, which would also benefit electronics technicians.

Repair company iFixit estimates that in addition to putting a huge dent in the e-waste problem, 200 repair jobs could be created for every 1,000 tons of used electronics that are repaired instead of recycled (creating 15 jobs) or landfilled, which creates less than one job.

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One thought on “Will Electronics ‘Right to Repair’ Laws Fix the Growing E-Waste Problem?

  1. The emergence of technology post WW11 was accelerated once the mobile telephone was developed from UHF transceivers. What was lost along the way was the tradition of caring about people as more than just consumers, being responsible for the future when embarking on projects, and no life-cycle considerations were or are involved. Component level repair is almost a thing of the past and whilst designers/manufacturers of hardware and software rapidly become multi billionaires in some cases very quickly and do create sometimes tens of thousands of jobs and ancillary jobs governments, when capitalist systems become introverted, have a responsibility to look at the wider employment, and unemployment in USA as anywhere else will be massively understated and such absurd terms as ‘seasonal’ used to deflect reality.
    Manufacturers look at repairs as being an obstruction to their designs on society and debt. I could discuss technology and debt in the philosophy of good and evil in development of the New Order and globalisation. and its governmental and banker criminals parasiting on the citizens and creating the mind corrupting entertainment so serving MK Ultra and MK Delta (for example) but that would be too distracting.
    One reason manufacturers refuse to give information for repairs is of course to force re-purchases another is so that alterations are not made during repairs which make the equipment not perform up to specification or to perform above specification. Manufacturers also claim ‘protecting our design’.
    When it comes to the concept of protecting design material there is hardly any good example at Government level.The appalling ‘games’ and ‘bells and whistles’of this hack-use technology which cause people to buy and discard when superseded or unrepairable ‘techno-advances’ actually finance a new world of detriment to their own safety and freedom. Deal with the big picture when attacking recycling, technology and repairs.

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