But we started to wonder: what happens when we don’t fix stuff? Where do electronics go when we’re done with them?
And we quickly learned that e-waste is a problem everywhere—every country in the world is both a source and a destination for e-waste.
So our founder and CEO, Kyle, travelled to Ghana and India, where he visited Agbogbloshie and Seelampur to see the consequences of the e-waste problem first-hand.
He did find some open burning, some people dissolving PCBs in open acid baths…
…but he also found a lot to make him hopeful. Even Agbogbloshie, which is so often maligned, is home to some of the most complete recycling you can find anywhere on the planet: workers at Agbogbloshie are hand-disassembling computers, reselling and reusing every part they possibly can.
When you consider the impact of mining and manufacturing a new device, in a world of finite resources, reusing every piece we can makes a lot of sense. Making tons of new devices has enormous environmental and social consequences—manufacturing, Apple says, accounts for 80% of a computer’s overall environmental impact.
E-waste isn’t just a matter of rich, white people shipping broken devices to poor, brown people who are too stupid to know how to deal with the stuff properly. Adoption of electronics is growing and growing throughout the world, especially in non-OECD countries. In fact, according to a Basel Convention report, 50-85% of e-waste in Ghana (where the infamous e-waste scrap yard Agbogbloshie is located) is domestically generated.
A 2010 Environmental Science and Technology study called “Forecasting Global Generation of Obsolete Personal Computers” found that by 2016, “developing” countries will actually produce more e-waste than “developed” countries—at which point, e-waste exports are a fairly moot point.
Our Story:• Started in a college dorm room in 2003 college dorm room in 2003• Largest collection of free repair manuals online• Largest collection of free repair manuals online• Inc 5000 “Fastest Growing Company” Past 3 years 5000 “Fastest Growing Company” Past 3 years• One of the largest Apple parts suppliers in the world largest Apple parts suppliers in the world
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