By repairing faulty goods and hopefully maintaining them in working condition beyond their intended life cycle, we are helping to lower the number of electronic goods going to a landfill site or incineration facility. Where necessary,and with the customer's agreement, working parts from goods left for spares ("beyond economical repair") are used, making some otherwise uneconomical repairs possible and recycling at the same time.
The recent trend in the decreasing cost of brown goods has led to a decrease in quality and reliability. There are still some of those early built-like-a-tank Ferguson Videostar/JVC models working today, a tribute to the good quality parts and design that was rather more prevalent in those times. Many modern VCRs, on the other hand, will only last 2 to 5 years before requiring some work carried out to either their deck (usually degradation of plastic) or power supply.
With the European Commission considering a Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE) Directive which will oblige manufacturers and distributors to take back end-of-life product for recycling at no cost to the consumer, perhaps the quality of products will improve again and the repair trade will flourish as manufacturers realise sales of spares will be an income unburdened by recycling costs.
Time will tell....
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