Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We have become the disposable world

There was once a time when most of the products we buy were able to be repaired. There was the TV repair man who actually made house calls. Appliance repairmen who'd swing by the house and fix a stove or refrigerator with a simple phone call. I'm beginning to think that that is the case only if your appliance is causing eminent danger to life and limb and you don't have the shekels to buy a new one. Most times however the cost of repair exceeds the replacement cost so unless you have a certain fondness or sentimental attachment to the washer then it's off to recycle. Even then you must pay for the privilege. Seems the only repairs left are relegated to building parts not easily tossed or hard to get at without some major demolition. With a never ending stream of garbage to our landfills is it any wonder we're swimming in garbage. Most people have the decency to dispose of their unwanteds in the proper manner at the curb on garbage day or at a recycling center. Some however must take great joy in dumping. I can almost hear the snickers going through their minds when they think they've saved the $35 to have an appliance hauled away. What they fail to realize is that at some point that trash must be dealt with and the end result lands up costing much more than if they had done it right in the first place.
Maybe it's all come down to a matter of time. Time it's said is money and we never seem to have enough time. A throw away seems simpler than dealing with a cleaning or repair bill. We'll just dump the costs on somebody else so the thinking goes. But much of our trash lands up in rivers and streams and at the bottom of lakes. Out of sight out of mind has always been the mantra but we're starting to reach critical mass much like the hoarder who has nowhere to sleep because of the piles of garbage. And even with recycling much of what could be reprocessed isn't because it takes time to separate and time is money but how much will it cost to clean up in the long run?


Randal Graves said...

Are you suggesting the fish don't deserve a place to sit in between loads of laundry?

an average patriot said...

Man we have pretty tight rubbish regulations here. I won't buy things because I can't get rid of it. Everything is caustic or something. I have been breaking up chairs and hiding them in my rubbish a little at a time and I was just lucky enough to have some guy come by and ask if he could have it because prices are up at the junk yard.

BBC said...

There was the TV repair man who actually made house calls.

Really? Never used one but I've never been big on TV's anyway, I'm just hooked on computers, the current evil.

But much of our trash lands up in rivers and streams and at the bottom of lakes.

Yeah, I see a lot of that when I'm out in the boondocks, but nothing in nature is wasted, it just takes her a thousand years to clean it up is all.

Over population is the problem, not what we are doing.

The Blog Fodder said...

Many of the throw away things are built either by robots or in countries with low cost labour.
Where labour is cheap they still repair things eg instead of replacing a fender they will fill and grind and polish like in the old days.
A technician charging $75 per hour is only affordable for large appliances. In the days when everything wasn't solid state and TVs actually had parts that could be replaced you could get it repaired.