THE GLOBAL E-WASTE PROBLEMS
Excessive Electronic Waste & Pollution
No competency measurement of Electrical Repair & Reuse
Governments are putting repair and reuse at the heart of their Circular Economy strategies but have no regulation or independent measurement of competency of each Electrical Product Category. Nor proof of depth of knowledge for safe repairs or electrical understanding. Funding to help those in poverty, is spent on new appliances which creates more waste, instead of using it via safe repair, to achieve best value for the taxpayer. In Electrical Repair, you can’t rely on CPD of something that doesn’t have a Standard?
PAT Testing misleads the public about electrical safety.
A PAT Test only means a product is safe to switch on and cannot always pick up other fire risks, and incorrect functional/operational dangers, particularly in relation to White Goods.
With UK Governments encouraging more Reuse & Repair, and Local Authorities engaging in Reuse from the Electrical Waste Stream, there is no doubt safety and Fire Prevention along with potential functional irregularities need to be addressed. It’s been a common theme highlighted in our Training, that Electricians do not have the depth of knowledge to safely repair White Goods. There is no proven depth of knowledge that they do. Citizens Advice mislead the public and charities that they do. It’s not part of their Qualification.
No evidenced Product Conformity in repairs
Government and manufacturers are concerned for product and consumer safety when it comes to Reuse and Repair. Products may no longer conform to the safety standard they passed, when first placed on the market for resale. This is called Product Conformity.
Consumers have no way of knowing what has been done to the item they purchase, or whether Manufacturers own or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) parts have have been used during subsequent repairs as it’s passed from user to user until its end of life. There is likely a difference in quality between Genuine and OEM Parts, and it’s equally more likely an experienced White Goods repairer would know this. Here are examples of what can go wrong if other faults aren’t detected.
The Spin of Fake Sustainability
2020 saw major conferences in Electrical Safety put Sustainability as the keynote messages. They included Electrical Safety First, The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and also The international Product Safety week. We attended these events and even heard Manufacturers speak of laudable sustainable processes in creating products for consumers. Check out the true cost of a fire.
However all of these organisations, including Government fail to address the local proximity principles when it comes to repair and safety standards. So the question is do these Stakeholders truly operate a transparent Sustainability or is it Fake? Take on board our other statements. Conflicts are not being addressed.
Repair is being monopolised by Corporates
Repairable items are leaving local communities for Corporate gain and taking work away from the local repairer. This includes corporate campaigns to collect Small Electricals that could be repaired cost effectively at the local level. These include White Goods, Mobile Phones, Tablets, Cameras, Computers and other general consumer electronics, which are being sold back to citizens around twice the value they could be purchased locally. Here’s an example. This makes it easier to place people into debt, when Waste Prevention can be used to prevent this and provide local jobs and boost local economies. The cost of repair when not done locally, has been forcing a throwaway society for years. Companies involved in these collections and interventions are merely advocating a “Fake Sustainability” message.
Product ownership is becoming obsolete
Many items are also moving to a “leased/rented” model to citizens as a refurbished item, making them more expensive again as you can also see in the last example. Here’s an article weighing up the Pros and Cons of this model. Online Electrical Retailers and compliance schemes are leasing more used items which actually reduces disposable income. Their online appliance sales are selling credit on goods taken away from the locality and increasing citizens debt, making cost of ownership higher than necessary and of course delivers profits to the Compliance Schemes, Retailers and Manufacturers, in other parts of the country. Monopolies are being built and the ability to donate or sell products locally are slowly disappearing. The impact will be felt most by those who can ill afford new, never mind used appliances.
Most companies who “buy back” your old electricals (phones, tablets, laptops etc) are selling them online as refurbished. This takes work away from local communities. This includes denying local spares and Critical Raw Materials that could be used and sold for local benefit through LocalitEEE. It means less travel, less environmental impact, less debt, less poverty and more disposable income. Without evidence of fully supporting localism, anyone including Governments who advocate this model are promoting another “Fake Sustainability” message.
The Right to Repair Challenges
The Right To Repair movement is growing around the world, which is something we support, however the issue of Product Conformity, Competence and Depth of Knowledge needs to be addressed. Is the person competent? Do they have the correct insurance? Are they replacing the correct part? What do they know about Electricity? Is the product still meeting conformity standards?
Hoarding Electricals Prevents Recycling
The hoarding of electrical goods that prevents recycling, is largely down to Data Sensitivity but also because of awareness and the need for behavioural change. E.G. Wales has a value of £851M in second hand in Electricals. Data wiping software companies are intercepting them, and realising the value for their own profits. This is another loss to the local community and economy. UEEESafe Data Wipers could help prevent this loss and retain the value locally.
Consumers lack independent Safety Standard
This is particularly true in White Goods where fires occurred and lives have been lost. The Preparing for Reuse protocol, also known as PAS141 and is a British Standard, does not have any independently assessed competency requirements of the repairer. In addition to that the standards of testing in that protocol will mean goods repaired will have a shortened life span, and goods supplied to these centres are moved away from the community, increasing environmental impact and higher sales costs. EEESafe is safer than a BSi.
UK has no Critical Raw Materials
The UK is an Island nation and has no Critical Raw Materials to mine therefore we need to retain what’s imported. CRM’s are running out around the globe but the EU has already set it’s plans in motion to ensure no shortages. As they become more scarce, their values will increase. Did you know, the metal from six million mobile phones and almost 72,000 tonnes of waste electronics was extracted to make around 5,000 gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals. BBC Site These materials are community assets and their values are not being realised in our local Communities, where we need incomes and jobs where we live.
The Climate Challenge from E-Waste
The Limits to Growth Revisited report concludes we’re Running out of Planet. The collapse of growth and the GDP Economic model could result not just in a lack of resource, but more the quality of that resource. GDP is what Capitalism uses to measure progress, but so far it hasn’t ruled out inequality and poverty. E-waste disposal contributes to climate change due to the chemicals released when it is burned. The manufacture of electronics also releases large amounts of CO2. How can a Global model quickly reach Global Communities? Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics model calls on us to “become agnostic about growth” but how can we transition quickly in a model lacking a financial plan? How can we ensure Local & Regional Local Authorities don NOT own what should be a Commons Model. They already run businesses set up with Tax Payers money, but don’t reward you the taxpayer with any of the profits and yet they risk potential loss.
Manufacturers issues with their own Appliance Register
Manufacturers must sell new Appliances to survive, so it’s not in their interest to see more repair and longer lasting appliances. Manufacturers also run their own Appliance Safety Register, which could monopolise the market and only push sales of new goods and warranties to those who can’t afford them. Local reuse and repair has a large part to play in aligning policies of Sustainability, Circular Economy and tackling poverty. Recalled Products, could be repaired by local competent persons, but manufacturers remove them and sell them back as used product. They will also only divulge Technical Details on Repair, to Qualified Professional Persons which has genuine safety and brand protection issues, but also hampers more reuse and repair at a local level.
We have a combined experience of 50+ years in White Goods Repair and Electrical Recycling. With over 4000+ trained Appliance repairers behind us, we are well positioned to provide solutions for the issues we have identified. See our Qualification Routes for those in the Sector, trained elsewhere.
Our Technical Director Graham Dixon is the renowned author of many DIY Repair Manuals under the Haynes Brand. His specialist in-depth training courses attracted candidates from all over the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Gibraltar, Germany, Sultan of Oman with the furthest being from the Falkland Isles! He is now committed to sustainable and safe electrical repair solutions under the EEESafe & LocalitEEE brand where we have now developed White Goods Certified and Qualified Training Courses. These come with Full Training Materials and a Training the Trainer model to allow greater training outcomes with a set standard for delivery of Certified and Qualified Repairers. Our strategy is to build a network of Delivery Partners around the whole of the UK and Assessment Centres with Assessors affiliated to or in the EEESafe Training Centres. You can see our Planet Washing Illustration, for exactly where the Training Centres fit and help deliver Community Repairers, living on the Housing Estates in the UK.
We were the first to operate an independent Appliance Safety Register, specific to White Goods but will open up to other Electrical Goods and the new launch early next year. The register is designed to prevent goods leaving the Community, assisting local repairers and capturing valuable Climate, Waste Prevention and Social outcome metrics attributable to people and their communities in a Charitable Model for Sustainable Communities.
What is UEEESafe?
UEEESafe is an acronym for Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment for EEE that has been used that might not be waste. It has to be assessed and can then be brought back onto the market, but has no recognised competence or measurement of that competence, behind the person placing it on the Market. The issues above, have already been explained. It is a Used Electrical piece of equipment.
UEEESafe is also a proposed standard being offered to the Repair Community which is building on our White Goods model. Not only supported by our extensive history and experience, this also includes our Ohms Law assessment test, submission of equipment, knowledge evidence, equipment calibrations, repair history recordings, insurance and general compliancy for electrical safety in repair. We believe this will give consumer confidence in safety of reused or repaired electrical appliances.
Solving the Issues with EEESafe and LocalitEEE
Lets summarise what we can do to solve the issues
A independent standard covering Product Recalls, Competence, Certification, Qualifications, Training, Sustainability. Accident Reduction, Safer homes..LEADING TOO….
Digital Label, Product & Repair Traceability, Appliance Safety Register, Leads for local Repairers, Local Community Marketplace, Community and Personal Product/Asset Sharing or Rentals
Skills in the Community
Local Employment and Small Enterprise creations. Replenish Skills Shortages through local Training Network. Certified & Qualified Circular Economy Repairers. Training The Trainer Programme.
Community Engagement & Ownership
Everything local. Sustainable Business Directory. Marketplace. Community App, Material stream collections and sales. Local social network. Volunteer reward system. Community and personal product SHARING of Things. Behavioural change through developing local community ownership with financial rewards in a Community managed model.
Environment Protection evidence
Circular Economy model based on Repair & Reuse. Capturing Community and personal metrics evidence of CO² and waste prevention tonnages. Reusing Recycled Parts. Preventing WEEE. Reusing UEEE. Building other materials metrics such as Textiles, Food, Wood, Cardboard, Glass, Plastic etc
Transparent Giving in a Charitable Model
Community Fund Raising. Community Currency to help tackle poverty. Democratic Giving in Social Democracy. Regular financial and currency donation. Donate your Currency to people in your community.
UK Government has spent millions trying to increase product and consumer safety, by encouraging consumers to register their appliance. Our Award Winning Model and Smart Register could help deliver smarter use of Tax Payers money and so much more. Be SMART and join us in #BuildingBackBetter.
Below, you can see how our Structure and Solution will be delivered
Recall Check with a Fail
Recall Checker with a Pass
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