Do you think we live in a throw away world?

@maximax8 (27048)
November 30, 2007 6:03am CST
This month my washing machine broke and I called out an engineer. If he fixed it it would have cost more it would have cost more than a new washing machine so it wouldn't have been worth it. I had to get it taken to my local rubbish dump and buy a new one. My camera has a problem with a dirty mark that shows up in photos. Cleaning it hasn't helped. A man in my local photography shop told me it is likely to be a problem inside the camera. This means he would haver to send it away to get it fixed. There is not a set fee for this. He told me it could be more than one hundred pounds. I bought the camera for more than three hundred pounds because I am keen on photography. I don't have enough money to buy a new camera. I wonder why fixing it would be so expensive. My mobile phone is full of messages and has stopped working. A lady in the mobile phone shop told me I need to replace it with a new phone. Again fixing it would be expensive, probably more than I bought the phone for in the first place. It looks like I have lost all the phone numbers I listed. One friend has just moved and so I might touch if I can't contact him. I find computer printers don't last for long. I have had four of these in the last seven years. Do you think things are thrown away when they could be fixed? Have you had to replace anything lately? What was this? What sorts of things don't last for long? Thanks.
3 people like this
16 responses
• India
30 Nov 07
Yes, we are indeed staying in a throw-away world. everywhere we go to get anything repaired, it’s the same reply. Technology is advancing at such a fast pace and people are so reluctant to actually learn something thoroughly the most technicians are in sync with only the present technology, they are not bothered to learn from the basic and what was there before and how it was improved upon. It’s a sad reflection of the mindless pace of our society. We are all running after the fast buck…training centers have short term modules, just enough to teach the technicians how to assemble, similarly students are also eager to enter the job market, they don’t want to spend a year or two on thorough training. Quality of material has fallen too, that’s why what we buy today is much cheaper and last lesser, than what our parents had. Its all OK as long as everybody is happy…just the thing that irks me is what do they do with all the ‘junk’ that we sell? They recycle it in parts no doubt…so we are actually buying again what we are throwing away huh!
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Thanks for this excellent response. Yes, the quality has gone down. Things in the past were meant to last for years. I agree that many people are training to assemble things and I wish that they built stronger products. I also wish the same number of people were learning how to fix things. Recycling is a great thing to do and we do end up buying part of what we have thrown away hey.
• India
3 Dec 07
For this you know, i seriously think schools should introduce a compulsory elementary course for basic training in fixing common household utilities. as it is children are being taught so many things these days, one more practical-oriented class won't harm them much. i have myself thought many times if only i knew which wire goes where, how to bend the pipes properly and so on. we would not have to throw, neither wait for the service people on emergency occassions.
@maximax8 (27048)
3 Dec 07
Yes, schools training teenagers to mend appliances is a wonderful ideas. Then fewer thing would end up on the rubbish tip. I got a new mobile phone today and sent my broken one to be recycled. It is a shame nobody could fix my phone but I am pleased with my new phone.
@lorelai (1560)
• Italy
30 Nov 07
I think we live in a throw away world. Sometimes I go to in the University canteen and there you give you everything plastic, I mean plastic plates, forks, glasses, knives everything just so they wouldn't have to pay one more woman who would wash(or put the dishes in the machine) the dishes. So they make so much plastic waste just to save few some money. That's so stupid because our planet is so full of waste that can't be recycled and we should pay attention to this because the earth is not as big as we think. I had to replace a freezer because it was an old one and they said it was impossible to find parts for it so it was better and cheaper to buy a new one.
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Many thanks for your wonderful reply. It was a shame that you had to replace your freezer. I have a combined fridge and freezer so this happening would be an expensive problem. Yes, I think it is awful that the university canteen gives the students plastic. It is was no bother when I was working at a school with a dish washer. Every member of staff put their cup in it before they went back to class. Two teachers had a duty of starting it up and unloading it. Yes, the Earth may soon be full of rubbish.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
1 Dec 07
you are so right lorelai! and that original freezer was likely built much nicer than the new one and was more economical to boot. and the dishwashing lady is now out of a job but the land fill is quickly succumbing to the heaps of trash we produce.
@maximax8 (27048)
3 Dec 07
Thanks lorelai and modestah for some your wonderful comments. A dish drying job would be good and save places of work using throw away plastic or a dish washing machine.
@kids2ph (214)
• Philippines
30 Nov 07
thats the price we have to pay for being soooo hi-tech changes on technology is so rapid that we can't appreciate old machines anymore everything has to improve almost everyday and yet its capability doesn't last long. i think we consumers must demand on the producers to have a policy to buy the things we bought from them to help address the problem of so many junks. it should be part of their business as well. i think fixing is more expensive just like its harder to look for an existing problem rather than create a new problem. you see, people tend to focus on their own imagination what they want and insensitive to its effects. i hope we really could do something about it. its time to work hand in hand and set aside selfishness. hope u've got my point.
@maximax8 (27048)
3 Dec 07
Yes, thanks you make a valuable point. Technology changes so rapidly indeed. I am pleased that my broken mobile phone will be recycled.
@nannacroc (4049)
30 Nov 07
Manufacturers do make things with a short life. They make more money that way. I was told that after three years they stop making parts and so the consumer is forced to buy new electrical equipment. I have been quite lucky with most of my electrical equipment an it usually lasts about 10 years, the problem is that sometimes there is only a small fault but it can't be fixed as the parts are no longer manufactured.
@maximax8 (27048)
3 Dec 07
Yes ideas in the electrical industry move quickly. If you buy something today it will be probable that parts for it will no longer be available if it breaks in five years time. However it sounds like you have been lucky with your electrical items lasting a long time or getting them fixed easily.
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
30 Nov 07
Yes,it is a throwaway world,and for many of the reasons already mentioned,as for the quality of the products,we can look at where the stuff is now being made,most items are now made in third world countries with very low wages and much cheaper and less quality materials. the technitions are usually trained in other countries with high wages and costs,so they charge more than the product is worth. then there is also the lazy people that do not care about the planet or environment,just look at the disposable diaper industry,those things will take 500 years to decompose,and that is only the ones that find their way to the dumps,most are just tossed under the car or thrown onto the road,and all the contents end up in the rivers and lakes without going through the water treatment centres. most plastic now can be recycled and is used in many new forms to stop the use of trees being destroyed. thank you for a great discussion.
• Canada
30 Nov 07
I agree with you on this big time . I have had more then five printers so far and the main reason is it cost me more to buy the ink to refill it then it would if I went out and bought a new printer . When you think of this , what a waste , throwing away something that is less then a year old because the ink is more then the printer itself but I don't want to waste anymore money then I need to . My best friend seems to have a new cell phone every couple of months because her husband is always doing something to the phone where it needs to be fixed and the cost of fixing it would be more then the price to buy another cell phone outright . I don't understand the reasoning behind charging so much to fix an item as you would think they would make more money from people if they would make the price cheaper to have it fixed rather then buy something new and go with another brand because it broke so soon or the cost of fixing was so high .
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Thanks for your excellent reply. Printer ink is so expensive. My current printer takes 3 colors and 1 black and white cartridge. It costs about half the value of the printer to replace all 4 of them. With my first printer I tried to refill the cartridges but this helped break it. My third printer had very cheap clear cartridges. I was upset when it broke. Your best friend is having to get a new mobile phone every few months because they are such poor quality. I once had a mobile phone with a special offer: calling one chosen number free as long as the phone was topped up every month with money. I was upset when it broke. Now I am about to get my third mobile phone. If only the first one was still working but it is a throw away world.
@Adoniah (7523)
• United States
30 Nov 07
Everything that is manufactured today has a much shorter life expectancy. That is called job security. If it lasts too long, then business will go bust or that is what they are afraid of. So we get to live in a throw away world. They say that plastic is better because it is lighter and pound for pound it is stronger. They are correct on both points. But that does not mean that a quater inch of plastic will hold up to a quarter inch of steel. It takes the same poundage of plastic to equal that quarter inch of steel. Thats a lot of plastic. Not to mention How many gallons of oil to produce it? Now you have more of you answer!
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Many thanks for this interesting reply. Yes so much oil is used to produce plastic. One thing I am trying to do is not accept plastic shopping bags in shops. I use my own material bags and backpack. Yes, every single thing produced today has a shorter life expectancy. It means a profit for each business making the items and when a customer buys a new item the shop assistant might wonder how long it will last for. Then the customer will come back to buy another one after dropping the original one in the rubbish bin.
@williamjisir (22909)
• China
30 Nov 07
Hello my dear friend maximax. Well I believe that we are now living in a throw-away world, which encourages us consumers to renew our products being used at hand. It is true indeed that it is more expensive for us to get some kind of things fixed than we buy a new one. I think that it is not right to charge us so much when we want to get them fixed. But in our country we often have some sales promotion activities in shops. For example, we can take the old and broken TV sets, electric cookers, DVD players, washing machines and so on to the shops for new ones by paying much less for a new stuff. I am going to the largest local electric shop to renew my steam cooker tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I will only need to pay 60 RMB for a new one if I take my old one to the shop. So do you have such sales activities in your town or city, please? If so, you could do the same like I do. Thanks for your discussion, dear friend.
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Hello my dear friend williamjisir. I think that the mobile phone shop in my local town will give between £10 and £30 for taking in the old one. They will then use this for recycling so this is good. I saw on advert saying it would take an old washing machine away for £5. But I am not sure if they would use it for recycling or send it to a rubbish dump. I am pleased to hear that you are not going to have to pay the full amount for a new steam cooker.
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
30 Nov 07
I couldn't agree with you more. I have the same problem. I have one digital camera, which I opened to see what inside and start working after my mechanical work. Don't ask me how...I guess labor those days cost more that new items....
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Yes, labor costs more than new items. That is quite sad. A few years ago I bought a slim line type of television. The shop assistant suggested I got a very long guarantee because if it broke it would be cheaper to buy a new one than have it fixed. I wish that I had the knowledge to fix my digital camera.
@wolfie34 (26881)
• United Kingdom
30 Nov 07
Trouble is to fix and repair things like cameras, vcrs and mobile phones it actually costs MORE to send them away to be repaired than it is to buy new! When you used to think that you bought furniture and televisions to last, you could have things for 20 or 30 years and they were built to last then, even cars, now cars are mostly fibreglass and cheaply made and don't last. Things are made so much cheaper because they are easier to replace, therefore so much waste and junk. Where do all those fridges and refridgerators go after they are dumped? They have to go somewhere and they don't rot down! Then theres fly tipping to get rid of all the waste, as the population grows so does the rubbish and the throw away world becomes bigger and more of a problem that unfortunately just won't go away!
@maximax8 (27048)
30 Nov 07
Thanks for your excellent comments. I have seen discarded old kitchen units on a area of grass close to where I live. Many tradesmen get charged for taking a van to a rubbish dump so they charge the customer extra to cover this. It is really terrible to have so many old fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines and so on mounting up on rubbish tips. Yes, none of them things rot down. In the past furniture was strong, you only have to look in an antique shop window to see that. I wish things could be built to a high standard and last.
@lucky_witch (2713)
• Philippines
1 Dec 07
Well, I just think that nowadays prices of everything just keep on going up. That's why when one of our appliances got broke, it is better if we would buy a new one rather than have it fixed. Because of the high price of service and parts of the appliances. And one thing more parts easily get faced out.
• Singapore
1 Dec 07
It is quite often this case - it is cheaper to buy a new one than fix the old one. Only if the old one is easily fixable at no or a reasonable cost would I have it repaired. Then again if money is an issue, then "interim-fixing" would sometimes have to suffice.
• United States
1 Dec 07
well i know computers can last a long time because my sisters computer has lasted for over 4 years now and never had a problem. you just need to learn not to use up the storage so quickly because when you delete things from your computer you know the memory doesnt get restored. if you know how to care for a computer it should last long and you wont have any problems or complaints. even though her computer is old it goes just as fast as my lap top so what is the point of buting something new when you can get a restored computer. that is why when you throw out your computer you can sell it to caompaines for money so that gets back to your question and yes plenty of things can be restored but humans have to have everything new and that is just how we work.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
1 Dec 07
it does seem that nothing is made to last anymore gone is workmanship quality and pride in product most everything being mass produced and shipped in from countries that could care less for the product or the person using it, just getting the next $. gone is the day of the repairman - toaster, television, furniture etc if you could even find a repair man chances are it is not worth the trouble, time or money. though these items are still relatively expensive. printers are definately made to toss when the ink cost as much if not more than the printer itself. no wonder the landfills are so over burdened
@MagieL (266)
• China
1 Dec 07
a friend of mine had her cellphone stopped working,and a woman in the cellphone shop said that if my friend want to fix the cellphone ,it would be expensive,probably more than buy a new one,so my friend throw it away and bought a new one. so i think we are now living in a throw away world.^^
• China
1 Dec 07
if you have a good heart everything is fine