Solid Waste

New gifts replacing old electronics? Don’t toss the old

By | Nathan Proctor
Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair

Electronic waste can pose health and safety risks if you don’t dispose of it properly. So, this holiday season if you are replacing an older or broken piece of electronics with a new gift make sure the product, its components or the materials in the product end up in the right place -- and get reused or recycled if possible. Here’s how you can responsibly handle your used electronics.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

It’s “America Recycles Day.” Is the United States set up for recycling success?

While a recent survey says that 94 percent of Americans support recycling and 74 percent say it should be a priority, the national average recycling rate is only 34.7 percent. Almost two-thirds of our waste ends up in landfills, incinerators, or as litter blighting the environment, often because recycling is prohibitively difficult for people with the best of intentions. Some states, however, are more recycling-friendly than others. On America Recycles Day, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and several of its state affiliates are releasing reports detailing recycling efforts at the local level.

Repairing your electronic device just got a little easier thanks to a seemingly unexpected source: The Library of Congress.

Take Action To Support Right To Repair

By | Nathan Proctor
Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair

An undercover reporter from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation took a broken laptop to the Apple store in Toronto, where they were told repairs would be at least $1,200. But when an independent tech opened the computer, it took him less than two minutes to repair it. For such a simple repair, said technician Louis Rossmann, he usually wouldn't charge anything. $1,200 vs. free -- how much more stark can it get?

Samsung, Apple fined for software updates that slowed phones

By | Nathan Proctor
Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair

Have you ever received an update on your phone or device, and afterward found that phone ran significantly slower? Well, an Italian court ruled on Wednesday that sometimes that can amount to a violation of consumer rights, and fined two offending cell phone manufacturers. 

Survey finds 45 of 50 companies void warranties for independent repair

Boston, MA -- Six months after the FTC warned six companies their “” labels are forbidden under warranty laws, a survey by the consumer group U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that the vast majority of appliance manufacturers continue to oppose independent repair. Of the 50 appliance manufacturers surveyed, 45 automatically void the warranties if the device had “unauthorized” repair.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Solid Waste

Warranties in the Void

Six months after the FTC under warranty laws, a survey by the consumer group U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that the vast majority of appliance manufacturers continue to oppose independent repair. Of the 50 appliance manufacturers surveyed, 45 automatically void the warranties if the device had “unauthorized” repair.

News Release | Solid Waste

Despite battery fire risks, manufacturers withhold critical product information

As more and more of the products in our lives get equipped with batteries and electronics, our waste facilities struggle to safely dispose of this waste. Lithium-ion batteries cause most waste facility fires, including 65 percent of California's waste facility fires in 2017. It is critically important that people don’t just throw items with batteries into the trash or recycling. But even when consumers do the right thing, and send their electronic junk to a specialized waste facility, some devices are so difficult to disassemble that they still pose fire risks. 

Right to Repair is a simple way to cut health care costs

By | Nathan Proctor
Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair

Cost containment is is a critical first step in addressing the deep faults in our health care system - it's hard to image fixing problems of access if we continue to be charged $15 for a Tylenol pill or $1,000 for a toothbrush. It turns out that overpriced equipment repair helps add to those inflated costs.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Solid Waste

Plastic pollution: One day, three solutions

One day, three decisions -- all of which may have far-reaching effects on plastic pollution in the United States.

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