Consumers' penchant for constant upgrades -- new cell phones, a sleeker laptop -- is causing havoc in the environment, and with technology products now accounting for as much as 40% of the lead in U.S. landfills, e-waste has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. solid waste stream.Consumers' penchant? I'm for the most part perfectly happy with my existing technology, but when I need to repair it, parts are often simply not available or they cost more than a new one.
For example, my cell phone's battery isn't holding a charge as long as it used to. So I went to my cell phone provider to see how much a new battery would cost. A new battery costs twice as much as a new phone (which comes with a new battery) would cost - not another phone of the same model as mine, but next model up.
With that kind of pricing, am I going to replace just the battery, thus saving a few square inches of space in the landfill? No, of course not! I'm going to replace the whole phone!
As a consumer, I resent being blamed for the behavior of technology companies that make repairing rather than replacing or upgrading all but impossible.