Finding spare parts is a often cited as a significant barrier constraining the upscale of repair and refurbishment. Waste from electrical and electronic equipment ('WEEE' or 'e-waste') can be a potential source for spare parts. But how is this done in practice, and what are the barriers to upscaling harvesting of spares from WEEE?
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Repair is often explored in the context of the infrastructure (e.g., supply of spare parts and repair expertise) and access (e.g., affordable price and ability to connect with repair expertise) that are available when a repair is needed (e.g. after the damage is done). However, these elements are only part of what determines the “ability to repair” something. By assuming a systems-perspective across the lifecycle of a product, it becomes clear that although the decision to repair-or-not-repair is fundamentally one that is made by the user, the factors that determine whether, and to what extent repair is even possible, are determined much earlier in the product’s lifecycle, while also being impacted in real-time by the conditions in the user-phase.
We often hear about the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle - and sometimes even more. But what do the Rs really mean and how can different definitions be a problem?
CREACE project researchers Dr. Carl Dalhammar and Dr. Jessika Luth Richter worked with Master's students at the IIIEE to investigate the state of the repair sector in Sweden and policies that could further promote repair.