The Right to Repair Movement and Electronics
The Right to Repair movement, led by American group repair.org, aims to protect consumers by allowing access to manuals, information, and tools necessary to repair their purchased items to extend their life and use.
The Right to Repair movement unofficially began in 2012 when Massachusetts passed the United States’ first Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act which required automobile manufacturers to provide the information and manuals necessary to allow anyone to repair their vehicles.
In recent years, the Right to Repair movement has expanded to include electronics such as cell phones, laptops, desktops and tablets. Third party repair companies want production companies to provide the information and parts needed to repair their products.
As it stands today, most tech companies strongly discourage consumers to repair their devices in favour of upgrading to the latest model. Some even use deceptive practices to trick consumers into thinking their devices cannot be fixed.
The evidence against major brands is overwhelming. Earlier this month The National went undercover to investigate allegations that Apple drastically overestimates the cost for repairs on their devices. The investigation found that Apple charged over $1200 for repairing a laptop screen and even encouraged the undercover consumer to just buy a new laptop instead.
When The National brought that same laptop to an independent repair store, the problem was identified as a bent backlight cable. The laptop screen was fixed in under a minute by bending the cable back and the store declined to charge the customer at all. Had the device needed a new cable, the store said that they would charge between $75-$100. Thanks to this quick repair, another device remained usable.
This is not an isolated case. The repair store said they typically see between 10 and 30 customers a day who have been told by Apple that their device simply cannot be fixed, when in reality it can absolutely be repaired and used.
Repair is actively discouraged in the construction of devices. Non-standard screws are used, making it difficult for the average person to open up their device. Batteries are typically glued into the electronic device, complicating a replacement.
So what happens to all of those devices that companies claim cannot be fixed? Unfortunately, they typically get discarded. According to The Global E-Waste Monitor, by the end of 2018 about 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be produced around the world. This number is terrifying. The more devices thrown into a landfill, the more toxins and heavy metals will damage surrounding soil, air, water and humans.
At Greentec we believe in a circular economy, using resources for as long as possible then extracting valuables and responsibly recycling at the end of a product’s life. Securely destroying the data on devices is part of this. When you bring your devices to Greentec, any information left on the device is completely destroyed in compliance with stringent regulations and industry standards.
If the device cannot be reused, valuables like copper, steel, aluminium, glass and plastics are recovered before the device is safely destroyed. The recovered resources can go on to support the circular economy as they are used in the manufacturing of new products.
Our store contains a variety of refurbished devices including phones, laptops and desktop computers. Refurbished electronics are simply previously used products. All of our devices are repaired if necessary and tested. Perhaps most importantly, devices repaired at Greentec are done so responsibly and safely.
Do your part in minimizing e-waste and pollution by choosing Greentec to responsibly recycle your obsolete or unwanted devices and IT equipment. Request a quote from Greentec and find out how we can help with your e-waste needs!