Those who maintain the U.S. electrical grid are enacting emergency measures to minimize the chance that Americans’ electrical service will be interrupted.
Concerns have been raised that wider immunity passport schemes could incentivise certain groups, such as young people who are falling into debt through lack of work, to actively contract the virus in the hope that they can return to their jobs once recovered.
In January 2020, FutureEverything, George P. Johnson and Cisco Refresh co-hosted an interactive makerspace exploring themes of the circular economy with over 1,000 participants. The makerspace, commissioned by George P. Johnson on behalf of Cisco, popped up at Cisco Live 2020, Barcelona (Cisco’s annual conference and expo attracting nearly 20,000 delegates each year) inviting attendees to reimagine and repurpose e-waste in creative ways.
The European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan unveiled today hits all the right notes to make ‘right to repair’ a reality in Europe. Promises will now need to be matched with concrete initiatives.
The Great Stink was an event in central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an ageing and inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. The miasma from the effluent was thought to transmit contagious diseases, and three outbreaks of cholera before the Great Stink were blamed on the ongoing problems with the river.
"The management of the population has become synonymous with the management of waste, excess, and trash, and only those who have the ability to accelerate will be sustained and supported by the larger logistical and infrastructural systems of a new post-pandemic cybernetic economy, which in reality is just a more extreme and refined form of the capitalism we had all already been accustomed to living within."
The most efficient way to recycle electronics todays is actually the dirty way. Manually unplug the chips of the boards to be reused but they lead to the visual in the following like with mountains of PCB and blackwater stream. The components recycled this way take less energy and bigger reuse value and build the backbone of lowering the cost of electronics products for developing markets.
This equipment was then delivered to places where consumers are expected to take their waste – most often government-approved takeback stations. They found that 19 (6%) of the tracked scrap equipment was exported, including 11 very likely illegal shipments to the countries of Ghana, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Ukraine, outside of the EU.
The E-Waste Curse: The deadly effect of dumping E-waste in Pakistan
Pakistan has become an illegal dumping ground for some of the 50 million tons of e-waste created each year. Karachi's poor earn a living from the toxic detritus, but the vicious cycle of consumption could prove fatal.
In Pakistan, the massive arrival of electronic waste has created an informal substance economy that feeds 150,000 people. The country's poor salvage what they can from the cast-offs of the electronic revolution: copper, steel, brass. Nassir is one who has cashed in on the opportunities found in old cables and hard-drives. "It’s a good business. I have more and more work", he says. Yet workers pay the price for a few grams of copper; 4 million people die every year because of electronic waste and recycling workers have the lowest life expectancy in Pakistan. In his recycling shop, Akhbar earns 2€ on a good day. It feeds his family of six, but his health has suffered. "This job is dangerous. It’s very toxic". And the toxic legacy is far-reaching - "It’s a catastrophe...especially for the children", warns Saba, an activist for the WWF. "They will continue to live here and be poisoned, it’s dangerous for them and it’s dangerous for the next generations". In our relentlessly consumerist world, can the global poor be saved from the toxic trade in e-waste?
Tens of thousands of people live in Zabbaleen, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, they all make a living out of recycling the entire capital city’s refuse. Their whole town is practically a giant dump and it provides them with almost everything they need: from kids’ toys to fodder for livestock. Even their pigs play an important part in recycling food waste. Most important of all though, the dump provides livelihoods for the people of Zabbaleen.
Every one of the rubbish collectors plays their own part, gathering, transporting or sorting the rubbish. Collectively, everyone in the community performs a highly efficient job of recycling Cairo’s refuse. This allows the trash town to be self-sufficient and largely independent from the rest of the city. The place has its own rules, everyone is allocated their own patch of Cairo, no one would think of collecting from someone else’s area. Zabbaleen even has an unofficial mayor.
Trash town has its own shops, cafes and a local school for the children. Of course it’s every Zabbaleen parent’s dream for their child to get a good education so they can build a better life elsewhere. More commonly though, the kids start working on the dump at a young age and follow in their parents’ footsteps to become rubbish collectors as well. The people of Zabbaleen do wish their lives weren’t as hard but feel no shame in their occupation. They see their work as socially important and pride themselves in providing for their families. After all, it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.
This standard will fulfil requirements in Standardisation request M/543 by defining parameters and methods relevant for assessing the ability to repair and reuse products; the ability to upgrade products, excluding remanufacturing; the ability to access or remove certain components, consumables or assemblies from products to facilitate repair, reuse or upgrade and lastly by defining reusability indexes or criteria.
New rules could spell the death of a "throwaway" culture in which products are bought, used briefly, then binned.
The regulations will apply to a range of everyday items such as mobile phones, textiles, electronics, batteries, construction and packaging.
They will ensure products are designed and manufactured so they last - and so they're repairable if they go wrong.
It should mean that your phone lasts longer and proves easier to fix.
That may be especially true if the display or the battery needs changing.
It's part of a worldwide movement called the Right to Repair, which has spawned citizens' repair workshops in several UK cities.
The plan is being presented by the European Commission. It's likely to create standards for the UK, too - even after Brexit.
Writing in @Wired, @kwiens
makes the crucial link between the #RightToRepair
and resilience, especially during moments of disruption to global supply chains.
Our society is completely dependent on technology. And the supply chain to make a modern smartphone is unimaginably complex. My company takes apart all the latest gadgets to find out what’s inside, and we regularly discover components from dozens of countries. The iPhone’s A12 processor, for example, is designed by Apple’s teams in California and Israel using technology developed by a UK-based but Japanese-owned company, and fabricated in Taiwan using equipment from the Netherlands.
Recycling is a complicated system dictated by market demand, price determinations, local regulations, the success of which is contingent upon everyone, from the product-designer, to the trash-thrower, to the waste collector, to the recycling factory worker. We consumers play a much more critical role than we might imagine-- depending on how we use our products and in what shape we throw them away, determines their value and quality post-use....
Recycling is broken. There’s little clarity about what can and can’t be recycled, and the rules change from one city to the next, and sometimes even within the same city. According to the World Bank, we produce 1.4 billion tons of waste a year worldwide, a figure that’s expected to increase to 2.4 billion tons by 2025. Waste is an enormous problem that needs to be addressed if we’re going to prevent the worst effects of climate change. But recycling is the wrong solution.
Don Norman wrote the book on complex design systems. He’s as mystified by recycling as the rest of us.
A waste picker is a person who salvages reusable or recyclable materials thrown away by others to sell or for personal consumption. There are millions of waste pickers worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, but increasingly in post-industrial countries as well.
Forms of waste picking have been practiced since antiquity, but modern traditions of waste picking took root during industrialization in the nineteenth century. Over the past half-century, waste picking has expanded vastly in the developing world due to urbanization, toxic colonialism and the global waste trade. Many cities only provide solid waste collection.
On January 10, 1942, the US Office of Production Management sent pledge cards to retail stores asking them to participate in the effort by saving things like waste paper, scrap metal, old rags, and rubber. Later that month, the Bureau of Industrial Conservation of the War Production Board asked all American mayors to salvage the same kinds of materials from municipal dumps and incinerators.
Three years of arguing with industry finally paid off, as the European standard EN45554 was published—a standard for measuring how easy it is to repair stuff.