Why can’t more stuff be repaired

‘Why isn’t more stuff designed so it can be easily repaired?’, asks Terry McAlinden, member of the  Museum of Bad Design Presteigne and Norton and fixpert,  who repairs stuff for fun. A few weeks ago the Museum went to see what was in the waste electronics sent for recycling by the community and spotted that a lot of products could have been repaired, if only we knew how and if only manufacturers made it easier. From Presteigne’s 1200 homes, 5 kettles had been put out in just 3 weeks.   Terry explained ‘often with kettles it’s the switch that goes so you can’t turn it triangular screwson, if it’s not that the other major problem is a caking on the contacts underneath the kettle, a quick clean and they can be right as rain’.    He took the kettles home to check his diagnosis and yes, they were all reusable with a replacement thermal or a good clean of the switch.  He commented that “it’s often not obvious how you get inside a piece of electronic equipment as the joints are often sealed plastic and even then when you do get in some of the screws have non-standard screw heads.  This combined with the low cost of new products compared to repair means waste electronics just end up in the recycling or in the bin.”    See Terry in action.

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