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Right to Repair Electronics

You may have grown even angrier when you discovered that you couldn’t repair your smartphone because of the right to repair electronics issue. Two reasons contribute to this. Most manufacturers want their customers to upgrade to the latest version instead of keeping and repairing their cell phones for longer periods. This issue directly ties to the right to repair electronics debate. The fact that manufacturers virtually glue in the battery, making it impossible to replace or remove, further complicates the right to repair electronics argument.

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The Right to Repair Electronics Act

Cell manufacturers employ lobbyists to work against the Right to Repair Electronics Act, which helps consumers to do what they cannot do right now: repair their old electronics.

It was interesting to note that Motorola announced they would make the repair of their phones as simple as possible for customers.

In a partnership, the company will sell repair kits to fix phones such as the Moto X or Droid Turbo 2 in partnership with iFixit. These kits will include tools, Motorola-branded parts and instructions for how to repair the device.

Will other electronics manufacturers follow Motorola and embrace independent repair rather than combat it? Time will tell.

It’s important to note that this is a much bigger issue than a dead device. It’s also important to note that e-waste is a serious problem for our environment.

What is the Right to Repair Movement (R2R)?

Lawmakers created Right to Repair laws to let consumers keep their electronic devices longer.

Devices are becoming smaller, and as technology advances, their lifespan shortens. This means that consumers have to replace older devices with newer and costlier versions. Right to Repair Electronics wanted to change this.

The concept caught on quickly.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and other industry groups have come out in favor of Right to Repair. They cite the economic and environmental benefits.

Right to Repair laws require electronics manufacturers to provide spare parts and repair instructions for old electronics. The advocates say that this will help reduce the growing problem of e-waste.

People use the term “e-waste” for unwanted electronic equipment. They frequently discard it with their household trash. However, the amount of electronic waste discarded each year is rising.

In 2017, people generated 44.7 million tons of electronic waste globally. The United Nations has sounded the alarm about this issue and warned that people will generate over 50 million tons by the end of this year.

Promoting Recycling

Greenpeace, an environmental advocacy group, has classified electronics manufacturers as the largest producers of electronic waste. This is because these companies receive poor grades for allowing devices to be repaired easily or by promoting recycling.

Massachusetts was the first state to adopt a Right to Repair law in 2014. Right to Repair legislation is being pushed by 19 states to assist consumers. Repair shops can fix internal problems on mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices, allowing consumers to access the parts they need to repair them.

Most large companies, such as Apple and Samsung, don’t sell parts directly to consumers or unauthorized repair shops.

The Right to Repair Electronics program encourages consumers to repair their electronics rather than discarding them in landfills. People also view this program as an environmentally friendly initiative to prevent electronics from ending up in dumps.

Why is the Right to Repair Electronics Movement linked to the environment?

Right to Repair helps to broaden the discussion about how to best deal with eWaste and keep it off landfills.

It may seem that used electronics are harmless, but they can contain harmful chemicals such as mercury and lead. These toxic chemicals can leach into the soil or water around landfills and cause serious contamination and pollution.

The contamination problem gets worse the more e-waste we dump in landfills.

Recycling and eCycle Florida

Recycling has proven to be the best solution for the increasing amount of electronic waste. Professional companies like eCycle Florida are able to recycle electronic devices by removing parts with value and selling them back to manufacturers for new products. eCycle Florida is an experienced company that has been recycling electronic products in a green way for many years.

Since many lobbyists who are against Right to Repair cite concerns about security (that technicians could steal your personal data, or install malware on your laptop), eCycle Florida has the capability to eliminate all the personal information that is stored on these devices and hard drives to prevent identity theft.

The risk of identity theft does not go away by throwing these devices out.

Recycling helps keep landfills clean and lowers the cost of new products.

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What is the current state of the movement?

While some electronic devices simply fail, the latest ones are often designed to prevent the owner from removing the battery. Some are designed to stop working after a set period of time, forcing owners to replace them rather than repair them.

Manufacturers of electronics would rather sell their latest models than fix your old ones, so they make it too expensive or impractical to repair their products.

This has become a worldwide problem, and people are throwing away their old electronics in greater numbers. Throwing out things instead of repairing them can have far-reaching effects for consumers, the economy and the environment. Right to Repair legislation is being pushed in many states.

In October, however, there was some good news for the movement. The Librarian of Congress as well as the U.S. Copyright Office gave American gadget repair shops and consumers more freedom to fix smartphones. This was a significant victory for the Right to Repair Movement.

Right to Repair Electronics

The Librarian of Congress

Created exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1988, which made it illegal for people to circumvent measures designed to prevent the piracy of copies of books, movies and video games, as well as computer software. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 prohibited people from circumventing digital “locks”, which are on devices that prevent intellectual property theft.

It prevented consumers from “compromising”, their electronic devices, so that the operating system of a device was not compromised.

Consumer advocates claimed that this restriction prevented consumers from being in a position to repair their damaged devices without violating copyright laws. The new exception, which took effect on October 28, states that consumers are legally entitled to repair something they own. Repair shops can now fix smartphones for owners and unlock smartphones.

Before this decision, some consumers were technically breaking the law if they attempted to repair a device that they owned. It was the same if you took it to a repair shop.

This is an important step in tackling the problem of irreparable electronics that contribute to huge amounts of electronic waste.

The conclusion of the article is:

The Right to Repair campaign could be a key factor in the reduction of global e-waste. We know that recycling is the best way to prevent e-waste damaging our environment and health. It’s also important that you recycle your old electronics. By recycling electronics, we can all contribute to the environmental campaign.


eCycle Florida is a trusted expert in recycling and managing waste electronics and metals. eCycle Florida recycles unwanted equipment in an environmentally responsible way. 

eCycle Florida is an R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to when looking for an electronic recycling center in Florida. Check out the services in the multitude of industries that we offer: 

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