Reducing electronic waste | What the Tech?

Reducing electronic waste | What the Tech?

That old, slow phone may still have life in them in a variety of ways. Jamey Tucker explains.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — April is Earth Month and it’s a time to raise awareness of how to protect the environment, including reducing electronic waste.

What do you do with outdated and broken smartphones? In the United States alone, 416,000 phones are thrown in the garbage every day. The best way to keep those devices out of landfills is to make them last longer.

Shops like UBreakIFix repair phones you might think need to be replaced. Those with broken screens, dead batteries, overheating and other issues.

“We see people come in and their batteries are dying quicker or maybe their battery life is 70% or under and they think they just have to replace the phone because they can’t access the battery,” a technician said. “We’re able to get that battery swapped out for them and then they essentially have a brand new phone again.”

Another reason people toss a phone is overheating and underperformance. A technician can fix that. Check your storage, too. That can help.

Smartphones age better now than they did just a few years ago. The iPhone 10 is 6 years old now but can still run the latest iOS. Even older phones are fine if they do all you need them to do.

“We still see iPhone 6 and 7’s and they’re still working in fine condition. All they need is some tender loving care. Getting that battery replaced or getting the appropriate software on the phone,” he said.

While a new phone can cost up to $1,100, replacing a battery or damaged screen might cost only $100. It’s tedious work that requires special tools.

If you’re still thinking about repairing a smartphone yourself you should be aware that many of the kits on Amazon are not from reputable companies, especially those selling for $20 or less. You may do more harm than good.

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