Friday, 25 May 2012

Saving the planet, one appliance at a time

The vast majority of the millions of microwave ovens thrown away every year could be easily fixed and reused, according to University of Manchester research.

Making simple repairs could save the UK could save millions of pounds by replacing fuses or plugs rather than throwing away perfectly reusable microwaves with brand new ones.

Published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, PhD student Azadeh Dindarian and her team examined 189 microwaves at refuse centres and found that 54% of microwaves in a single year appeared to be disposed of simply for cosmetic reasons or because they had minor faults, and that 85% could be safely repaired. They have also found that some simple changes in design could prevent some of these faults from happening altogether.

Finding ways to re-use discarded microwaves could help to prevent thousands of tonnes of waste every year. These devices are often shredded in specialist recycling centres which are not often capable of retrieving valuable materials.

Azadeh, who was shortlisted to present her research at the House of Commons, believes product reuse is essential to reduce current levels of waste and create a more sustainable economy.

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and Chairman of policy connect, added: “The excellent and compelling work carried out by the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is persuasive in demonstrating that many microwaves that are discarded could be reused or remanufactured, saving money, and crucially, natural resources.”

we say - all very well and good, but with Microwave ovens being sold buy on get one free in Tesco for about £50.00 (exaggeration) and most of the public not knowing where to get a microwave repaired means the dumping will continue - thinking of the next stage. local authority 'tips' should have a zone drop your microwave so with a simple check, repair can be assessed and the unit sold at a discount through local social housing associations, battered wives refuges etc...

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