The Importance of Reuse and Repair | Techbuyer’s Repair Café

What do you do when things stop working? When your bike gets a puncture, when your favourite shirt rips down the middle, when your car’s wiper blades start making that annoying screeching noise? Nine times out of ten we will look to throw away rather than repair or reuse. This is a habit we need to change. However, repair poses a difficult task where electronics are concerned; they often need specialist tools and training to make even the simplest of changes, such as replacing a broken screen or changing the battery.

Because of this, the extent of e-waste ending up in landfill every year is growing. Nowadays, upwards of 50 million tonnes of electronics make their way to our landfill sites every year. To put that into perspective, that is more than the weight of the entire Great Wall of China. But unlike the Great Wall of China, e-waste can do nothing for us; when a device ends up in landfill these electronics can no longer be used and the materials, they contain are lost to us.

Therefore, how do we prevent our electronics from ending up in this mass of waste?

In line with Repair Day this month our ITAD* Business Improvement Manager Alan Fisher, held a Repair Café Party to allow anyone in our local area to turn up with their broken belongings and have them fixed. Whilst we get a lot more than just electronics through the door, the party delivered an important message: repairing what we have and keeping things for longer is essential to avoid unnecessary waste and to retain materials.  

Alan highlighted the need to “rescue any equipment that might be going to waste” and helped attendees repair their broken products. Alan shared that “we’ve had a couple of bikes in, a PA system with a faulty speaker and a push-along dog that needed a wheel refitting” to name but a few. 

Not only did the repair party bring new life to the items brought in, but it also added years onto the lifespan of these products and diverted them from landfill and recycling.

Whilst recycling is a fantastic practice that prevents much damage to the environment, it does have its limitations. Not only does recycling still mark the end of life for the product, but recycling procedures are not yet effective enough to recycle 100% of the materials within electronic devices and, as such, we advocate for reuse where possible. 

Alan highlighted this at the event, stating that “we would rather see people repair and reuse than recycle. Particularly when household budgets are being stretched.” You can find out more about our views on recycling, its advantages and limitations here.

Supporting our local community is a core feature of our business and we consider it a privilege to get involved in local events and promote sustainable technology throughout Harrogate and Yorkshire. This year we attended and ran in the Great Knaresborough Bed Race, winning third best dressed bed and breaking our PB during the race itself. We also recently hosted a tech amnesty event in which members of our local community could bring along their used technology for reuse, repair or recycling. Keep up to date with our upcoming events, including future Repair Cafés, by following us on social media here.  

Techbuyer’s Sustainable IT Solutions 

Techbuyer is a global provider of sustainable IT solutions, offering reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling for electronics and data centre equipment around the world. Find out more about our sustainable IT services and how we can help you improve the impact of your technology below:  

*What does ITAD Mean? 

ITAD stands for IT Asset Disposition. Our ITAD service provides secure and responsible IT hardware disposal to companies around the world; we data sanitise each device and data bearing component before refurbishing the equipment, extending the lifespan of technology and preventing valuable devices from ending up in landfill. Find out more about our ITAD service here or selling your used electronics to Techbuyer here. 

Find out More about Sustainable IT Habits:  

Bright Futures

Great Knaresborough Bed Race

Harrogate Climate Action Festival  

Electronics Recycling vs ITAD