Your Right to Repair: Where to Repair (or Recycle) Your Appliances in Singapore
As a consensus, we are all fully aware of how us, as humans, have been mistreating mother Earth and abusing the planet’s natural resources. Global warming, environmental pollution and plastic waste are giant keywords associated with saving the planet. Yet, as we partake in Earth Hour campaigns and drink from bamboo straws, another colossal threat slips under the radar.
Can we make a difference by repairing our existing appliances and electronics instead of always buying new?
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50 Million Tonnes of E-waste
E-waste or electronic waste is defined as any electronic or electrical component or device that is destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. In a press release by the United Nations (UN) this year, an estimated 50 million tonne of E-waste is generated globally per year, and that number is increasing exponentially. E-waste has now become the fastest growing waste stream, with only 20% being properly disposed or recycled. The rest goes either into landfills, polluting the soil and water around it or are improperly recycled, causing toxic chemicals to be released.
The rate of e-waste generation is increasing at a staggering pace. As advances in technology continue to whet our appetite with treats like higher definition and foldable screens on smartphones, our consumption of electronics is now at an all-time high. In 2008, total global sales for smartphones was at 172 million. Last year alone, the world bought 1.5 billion smartphones.
You’re Right to Repair
A huge contributing factor to the generation of e-waste is due to the inability for consumers to repair their own electronics. Many large electronics corporations have rescinded a customer’s right to repair their own devices by either restricting sales of spare parts only to authorized dealers or requiring any repairs to be done solely by the company, otherwise, it would be considered a violation of terms. In doing so, they effectively control all replacement aspect of the equipment or device and are able to raise the prices on parts, resulting in most consumers directly skipping to purchasing a new device instead.
This move by the corporations has instigated a growing global movement. Dubbed as the “Right to Repair” movement, which aims to empower consumers with the ability to fix their own electronics, it has roots from the U.K but has since spread to many parts of the world, including Singapore.
To Re-new Beginnings
Currently, in Singapore, we have one such community that aids in teaching members how to fix their own items. Repair Kopitiam is a community run monthly event that aims to cultivate the repair culture within Singapore. The event happens every last Sunday of the month at 2 key locations:
- Jurong – Blk 453, Jurong West St 42
- Tampines – Blk 890D, Tampines Ave 1.
Each session is done with the help of trained volunteers and ‘Repair Coaches’, entirely free of charge. Just be sure to prepare the day before as the session starts from 10.00am and closes by 3.00pm.
- You can join the community on their Facebook, or join the public group for any questions you may have. Additionally, you can contact them at +65 94661315 or email them at [email protected]
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Repairman
If your device has gone past the point of self-repair or Repair Kopitiam coaches, do not immediately turn to trashing it. Consider heading to professional repair shops around the island before giving up on your device.
|Camera Repair Shop||Address & Contact|
If you have a camera that other shops have claimed to be ‘unfixable’, you may want to check out Mr David Hilos. Touted as the ‘camera whisperer’, Mr David Hilos is part of the repair movement and strongly advocates against the buy-and-throw-away culture. He will still charge a small sum for the repair, but it will definitely be way cheaper than any other brick and mortar repair stores.
When your camera is sick, where do you bring it to? The Camera Hospital of course!
The Adelphi is a mall with the largest collective of audiovisual repair shops you can find on this island. Housed within it are rows of camera shops that could meet your need.
Sim Lim Square
Without a doubt, whenever someone queries on where to look for any computer related problems, they are pointed to Sim Lim Square. Located along Rochor Canal Road, Sim Lim Square has a bad reputation for con men but is still considered by many as the one-stop mall for PC/Laptop repairs. We list the three best and most reliable shops in the mall:
|Sim Lim Square Shops||Address & Contact|
|Smartphone Shops||Address & Contact|
One of the most extensive smartphone repair shops in Singapore, Red White Mobile even has a blog about the latest in smartphones.
Another doctor, this time for your phone! Phone doctor has multiple outlets around the island, so there is definitely a store near you.
Television repairs are one of the most sought after electronic repairs, it is also the most difficult as most televisions require manufacturer parts to repair.
|TV Repair Shop||Address & Contact|
Mr Ho is an underground legend within the television repair scene, he has no shop nor even an online presence. The only manner of reaching him is through phone, but he has extensive online reviews that certify him as one of the best television repairmen.
Listed as Singapore’s No.1 TV repair service, Repairs*SG is a firm advocate of fixing before replacing. They have no transport charges and are open all year round!
We have included this list for fridge repairs as they are the most time-sensitive repairs! Leave the doors closed if you suspect your fridge is no longer working, your food will be able to last slightly longer till the repairman comes.
|Fridge Repair Shop||Address & Contact|
Time Wing Trading offers free evaluation and transport for your broken fridges as well as a 6-month warranty after repairs.
This is the same store as the one listed under TV repairs. Repairs*SG has a Refrigerator repair department as well. With 30 days warranty and service available on weekends as well, give them a call for any fridge issues.
If all else fails and you are certain your device has come to the end of its life, do not hastily dump it into your home trash chute. With only 6% of our local domestic e-waste being recycled per year, everyone has to take part in ensuring we do not contribute to this growing global problem. Singapore has an extensive network of e-waste recycling bins and zones and we highly recommend you to find one near you.
You can check for the bin closest to you here.
*Featured Image credit: Shane Aldendorff | Unsplash