Consumers have a nasty habit of throwing out their electronics as soon as newer, shinier models become available, and they rarely ever do so properly. Nearly 42 million tons of e-waste — everything from microwaves and electric shavers to washing machines, laptops, cellphones, TVs and computer monitors — entered the global garbage stream in 2014, according to a United Nations University report.
Like all trash, this stuff doesn’t just disappear. Instead, it stacks up in landfills. Unlike most trash, however, e-waste is often packed with valuable components — as well as toxic chemicals and materials that can cause real damage wherever they end up.
Kyle Wiens thinks the iPad should be banned. It’s a “highly immoral” product, he says, because it can’t be opened and repaired when the battery dies. It’s a throwaway device, and he wants governments to prohibit it.
“It’s not designed to be long-lasting,” said Wiens, who is the co-founder and CEO of iFixit. “It’s like selling a car that has to be replaced when the tires wear out.”
Wiens is the Bernie Sanders of the electronics industry. He doesn’t just want reform — he wants revolution!
iFixit has made repairing broken iPhones as simple as setting up Ikea furniture thanks to the site’s easy-to-follow guides and excellent repair tools Apple doesn’t really want you to use. Now the company is about make it easier to fix even more broken gadgets by partnering with Electronic Recyclers International.
Finding parts to fix broken Kindles, GoPros, and Nexus devices can be practically impossible, but now that iFixit and ERI are teaming up, consumers will have a way to keep more of their busted gizmos alive, instead of tossing them in the wood chipper.
Back in 2008, when Apple was selling roughly a tenth of the number of iPhones it sells today, the company produced a limited number of giant-sized display iPhones with built-in 30-inch Cinema Displays to show off its new line of smartphones.
Most of them were destroyed after the promotion was finished, but thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, we can see that at least one made it out alive — and has now been converted by Reddit user 92JMFL into possibly the world’s sweetest Mac display.
ROSEVILLE, California – This is where your electronics go to die.
In a nondescript, 200,000-square-foot warehouse 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, box after box of discarded electronics and parts sit at Sims Recycling Solutions, awaiting their date with the “mega-shredder” at the end of the line. That’s where four rows of 22 hardened-steel blades will rip and grind the metal housings and circuit boards into tiny chunks.
“We recycle almost everything,” said Bill Vasquez, Sims’ vice president of U.S. operations, during Cult of Mac’s recent tour of the facility. He said more than 99 percent of the materials that pass through Sims’ doors gets recycled. “Our focus is to divert everything from landfill as much as possible.”