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Dibya

We need to take Climate Change seriously

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Share Your ideas how we can deal with climate , specially how can we deal with e waste .

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The jury is out on whether we can even do anything to stop or change the path of the climate, however it is more important that we can agree that pollution of any sort is bad and we can always do more to cut down on that and make our environment better for each other.

E-waste is primarily caused by many things, of which I can think, but these may be limited to the US.

- manufacturers creating products with planned obsolescene and/or not following standards, resulting in short lifespans.
- manufacturers using designs that are not publicly documented, or keep documentation behind paywalls or subscription plans.
- manufacturers that replace whole parts (such as boards) instead of fixing or replacing individual components.
- manufacturers that sue repair shops
- trades (in general) not seen as important and not taught in schools, especially electronics

Going back to the 1990s, there were repair shops all over the place. You could take you electronic gadget to get fixed and it was an actual fix and not just a PCB replacement. Or you could get the service manual and do the work yourself. Even to this day, if you buy some older electronic device, you can find the service manual online and be able to do a repair yourself. With new products, that isn't an option.

As things changed, the removal of electronic repair shops, the disappearing of stores to buy components (although most can be found online), the ceasing of schools teaching trades like electronics/repair and likely the fact that costs have come way down on products has made it so people do not have the same attachment to something they once had. It is cheaper to just "buy a new one" instead of trying to find someone to repair it. Companies do replace products if they are under warranty, but they are doing wholesale changes and does not solve the e-waste issue. It is cheaper for a company to just replace a PCB and sell the "bad" one to a recycler than to spend time to diagnose and repair a problem.

So in the current day, there is too few options for what to do with broken or unwanted electronics. Pay a recycler to take the thing? Put it out into the garbage? Throw it into the woods or the ocean? We had a ton of electronics years ago and didn't have this waste problem because the products lasted longer and they could be fixed. And fixing something was cheaper than buying a replacement, or cheap enough to make waiting for a repair a better option than buying a new one.

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Posted (edited)

I can't speak with regard to most other countries, but I've heard that (relatively) unregulated recycling markets (like in United States) leads to trouble. I guess that would explain why my school had a fake recycling program for several years, all of it just going into the trash, but getting a tax credit anyway. Similarly, the curbside recycling program here recently got gutted, only accepting paper, cardboard, clear glass, tin/alum cans, and #1/#2 plastic. I guess the rest isn't as profitable, so they don't bother, because nobody is making them bother. However, our state seems to have an awesome e-waste program. Most towns seem to have municipal drop-off points, and a nearby e-waste company is able to recycle an absolutely ridiculous amount of things. I know someone who worked closely with that e-waste company, it's all really recycled, too!
 

Edited by i430VX
make location more correct

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