Could Appliance Repairs Be the Way Out of the E-waste Crisis?

Remember the days when appliances were like part of the family? We would keep them, pass them down through generations and only buy new ones if there was no other option.

Today, with the modern need for new features and gadgets, the desire to salvage our old household machines has become a thing of the past.

Sadly, a survey conducted by appliance spare parts seller, eSpares found that only 25 percent of us attempt to fix our broken appliances ourselves leading to what we call a throwaway society.

Replacing appliances instead of repairing them is having a devastating impact on our environment. According to the UK government’s Health and Safety Executive agency, a staggering 2 million tonnes of e-waste is discarded by householders and companies in the UK, every single year! United Nations reports that e-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream in the world.

Repairable appliances

Can repairing a few household appliances really have that much of an effect on this huge problem? Well, if we as a nation fixed just an extra 10 percent of perfectly repairable appliances, 100,000 tonnes of e-waste would be avoided every year!

Repairing appliances may not be something you’ve ever thought of doing, but there are plenty of resources and guides out there that give great tips, advice and demonstrations to make it super easy for you.

The Restart Project, for example, is an organisation that aims to empower people to repair their electronics through their Right to Repair movement. Since they began their quest to fix people’s relationship with electronics in 2013, Repair Cafés have cropped up in most major cities across the UK. These ‘repair parties’ consist of members of the public bringing along their small electrical goods, from tablets to toasters, with the intention of learning how to fix them from others in attendance.

The rising demand for change in the way we behave towards our electronics, from both organisations and individuals, has led to the EU adopting new Right to Repair standards. New legislation means that from 2021 firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting and supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years, making it a whole lot easier to repair household appliances.

Go for help

But where to start with repairing your larger household appliances? If you’re currently horrified picturing your fridge freezer in bits all over your kitchen floor, we promise it’s not quite like that! Fixing an appliance fault could be as simple as replacing a door seal on a fridge that isn’t cold enough, replacing the bulb on an oven that isn’t lighting up or fitting a new spray arm on a dishwasher that isn’t cleaning properly.

More complicated fixes like replacing a washing machine drum can take a bit more work, but you don’t have to do it alone. You just need to know where to go for help!

eSpares has made it their mission to give people the tools and the confidence to fix their appliances themselves. Their recent #FixFirst campaign, raises awareness about the positive environmental impact of appliance repairs. They also highlight the cost-saving people can make by not having to pay for new appliances or expensive professional repairs. Their online Advice Centre features more than 500 how-to videos, 700 fault fix articles and 9,000 appliance manuals completely free of charge, all of which help consumers diagnose and fix their faulty appliances.

Fixing experience

Here’s what some of eSpares’ customers had to say about their fixing experience:

“I can’t believe I went 5 months trying to find a refrigeration service engineer and eventually fixed it myself. The eSpares website information gave me the confidence I had sourced the right part. I fitted it that evening, all very easily. The fridge is working fine and I’ve saved approximately £200 on calling out a specialist.” Jeremy, eSpares customer

“[The part] was easy to fit and solved the issue I had with my tumble dryer. Don’t be afraid to do this yourself because if I can do it so can you.” Diane, eSpares customer

So, before you consider kicking your underperforming appliances to the kerb, remember you have a choice! You can choose to repair your appliances, do your bit to protect our world and save yourself some cash! Join the fixing community today.

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