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Today in Repair

June 13, 2022
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Tracking Devices Show Returned Appliances Go To Landfill

Tracking devices planted in “faulty” small appliances have revealed where they go when returned to stores.

Many appliances such as mixers, blenders and toasters are sold with no repair advice and no spare parts available, making a longer lifespan challenging.

The situation lead Consumer NZ to investigate what happens to nearly new, but faulty appliances.

After buying benchtop mixers from Kmart, The Warehouse, Briscoes and Farmers stores in Wellington, its testers created easily-fixed “faults” by removing a power wire from the control board. (

Tech is bracing itself as Lina Khan’s FTC agenda takes off

It’s not just Amazon.

One year after taking over as chair of the FTC, Lina Khan is just getting into the thorniest, farthest-reaching and most resource-intensive portion of her agenda — and most of the items on deck have nothing to do with the widely expected antitrust lawsuit against yet another tech giant.

Although Khan, 33, rocketed to the top ranks of competition law with her criticism of Amazon, she appears to be preparing rulemakings on privacy, the revision of the agency’s views on mergers, more work on kids’ data and the defense of the agency before hostile judges — even as many of those outside the FTC who could face its wrath are making their own preparations.

“The FTC follows and is in charge of the entire economy, basically,” said Matt Wood, vice president of Policy at media group Free Press. “When it comes to the signature issues, a lot of stuff is still in the works.” (

New Fair Repair Bill takes “Right to Repair” movement national

The Fair Repair Bill introduced to the Senate on March 14, if passed, will take the Right to Repair in the US one step nearer to building a sustainable future by codifying legislation on a national level. Manufacturers must make sure they are up to the challenge.

In this bipartisan bill, the widespread support for the Right to Repair across different political groups and industries is undeniable. There are clear implications for the environment and the economy. A prime example would be its impact on electronic and precious-metal waste, which has become a serious problem in the face of dwindling natural resources and global supply chain shocks. (

More mobile recycling urged to halt growing e-waste mountain

Technology has become a vital part of life over the past couple of decades, with new smartphones, laptops, wearables and other products appearing on the market every day.

But this range of choices comes with severe consequences, as the world faces an environmental crisis partly due to the amount of electronic waste produced by companies and households. One recent study estimated that in 2021 alone, the global mountain of e-waste outweighed the Great Wall of China, at 57 million tonnes.

Taking these findings into account, the Royal Society of Chemistry has called for a global effort from governments, businesses and the public to develop a stronger circular economy.

If action is not taken, experts say the UK could become the biggest e-waste producer per capita in Europe by 2024, overtaking current leaders Norway. (

Applying the principles of the circular economy, we need to practise “reduce, reuse and recycle”. Eliminate waste by reusing, repairing, remanufacturing, refurbishing IT assets and digital devices. Continuing to mine the Earth for precious metals and minerals and make new devices is unsustainable. We simply can no longer continue to extract Earth’s resources to manufacture goods and use them, only to dispose of them into landfill. (

A February 2022 survey conducted by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the National Farmers Union found that 92 percent of farmers surveyed believed that they could save money if they were allowed to repair their farm equipment themselves or engage independent repairmen.  Over three-quarters of those surveyed indicated that in the past, they had opted to buy older model equipment in order to avoid high repair costs." (

More than 250,000 new jobs could be created in London if the capital's businesses, citizens, and policymakers work together to expand the city's circular economy, according to research published by a waste and resource management partnership between the London boroughs and Mayor of London.

The ReLondon group has unveiled research which claims there are significant job creation and wider economic gains to be made by growing London's circular economy, arguing that previous modelling in this area has failed to account for the full range of jobs that could be unlocked by the "circular transition".

The group has calculated that 284,000 new "circular jobs" could be created if the Mayor's 2030 environmental goals are met, including the target to increase municipal recycling rates to 65 per cent. Such a scenario would nearly double the number of people employed in the capital's circular economy, which currently sits at around 231,000. (

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