The WEEE Directive
We at Spares2go believe the EU has missed a golden opportunity.
The WEEE Directive basically aims to:
* reduce waste from electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)
* encourage separate collection of WEEE
* encourage treatment, reuse, recovery, recycling and sound environmental disposal of EEE
* make producers of EEE responsible for the environmental impact of their products
* improve the environmental performance of all those involved during the lifecycle of EEE.
What it does NOT seem to encourage is the REPAIR of electric and electronic products. In other words, it effectively promotes the needless and highly eco-damaging early disposal and replacement of such items.
What is the point of generating a thriving business in waste disposal when they could just as easily (it seems to us) have re-generated the appliance repair sector, which is now pretty much dead on its feet?
Be honest - what is your first thought when your dishwasher breaks down?
"Ah, now's my chance to buy that super new one I saw in town last week".
Well, you wouldn't be alone. But why do this? A new dishwasher may well look better.
It may have a lower energy rating and use a little less water,
but does this offset the carbon cost to the planet incurred in the manufacture/shipping of the new product?
The clear answer is "No, it doesn't".
So, what are the alternatives?
You could go back to washing up by hand - not an attractive idea.
You could call in a repair man, but this option is fraught with issues - How long until someone can come out?
- How much will they charge? - Are they reliable? - Will it be worth doing? - Will it go wrong again? Mmm - not simple, is it?
OR, how about you (or your hubby/wife/partner/son/daughter/neighbour) sort it out yourself?
This is not as daunting as you may first think.
There are many useful web sites today, specialising in the supply of spare parts for this, and all your other household electrical appliances. Many of them have very helpful articles on how to determine what the fault could be, and how to go about fixing it. And of course, they will be able to supply the part itself, normally very much cheaper than the cost of a replacement appliance. Some web sites will also email parts breakdown images to you for free. These can be extremely valuable when trying to diagnose the problem, and showing you how to go about replacing the offending part. They also often have links to other sites specialising in the repair of pretty much anything.
Consider this - Not only will you be helping your wallet and the planet, you will also be getting a great sense of personal achievement into the bargain!