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Reducing Product Waste with Right to Repair

Have you ever had a small part on your phone, computer, or vacuum break, and it turns out that buying a new one is cheaper than trying to fix it? Or maybe you were told the part needed to fix the computer doesn’t exist anymore.

Repair is a critical part of reducing waste, one of Seattle Public Utilities’ core values of Reduce, Reuse, and then Recycle. But when manufacturers make repairing their products difficult or more expensive to access, consumers are pushed to buy new rather than fix their products.

One way Seattle Public Utilities is helping customers combat this problem and reduce waste is by advocating for laws that increase access to repair – so your items last longer before they need to be recycled. Recycling is great, but keeping items out of the waste stream is even better for the environment and climate.

Right to Repair laws help increase the ability to repair your items by requiring manufacturers to provide the tools, parts, and information needed for you or an independent repair store to fix it. Everything from phones and laptops, to wheelchairs, dishwashers, and even tractors are included under Right to Repair. 

Policies like this help reduce throwaway culture and keep critical electronics and other items affordable and in use for longer, which helps fight climate change. 

Seattle Public Utilities is advocating for Right to Repair in Washington State’s 2024 legislative session starting January 8, 2024. To learn more about existing repair options, visit the Repair Economy WA website. Thank you for choosing repair! 

– Maggie Yuse, SPU Government Relations & Legislative Affairs Advisor

International Repair Day

International Repair Day is Saturday, October 21. To learn more about preventing waste by repairing items, watch this video featuring SPU Government Relations & Legislative Affairs Advisor Maggie Yuse and SPU Solid Waste Planning and Development Specialist Scott Clayton.