Welcome to Scrap Collector, Waste Dive's Friday round-up of insights and stories you may have missed during the week.
APPLE PUSHES CALIFORNIA TO POSTPONE RIGHT TO REPAIR BILL
In a blow to pro-repair advocates everywhere, legislation (Assembly Bill 1163) seeking to establish the "right to repair" in California was pulled from consideration on Tuesday — moments before a scheduled committee hearing.
"Today I decided to pull Assembly Bill 1163 from consideration in the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, with the goal of moving the bill in January of next year," bill sponsor Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman said in a statement. "While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns."
The "vague and unbacked claims" she's referring to? According to Motherboard, an Apple representative and a lobbyist for CompTIA — a trade organization funded by major tech companies — have been holding private meetings with California legislators in recent weeks in an attempt to nix the legislation. Consumers attempting to repair their iPhones, the lobbyists told members of the committee, could injure themselves during the disassembly process by accidentally puncturing the flammable lithium-ion battery.
Nathan Proctor, director of U.S. PIRG's Right to Repair campaign, called the suggestions "patently absurd."
"We know that all across the country, millions of people are doing this for themselves," he told Motherboard. "Millions more are taking devices to independent repair technicians."
iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens similarly dismissed the lobbyists' claims, pointing out to The Verge that people also run the risk of injury with run-of-the-mill repairs — changing a tire, for instance.
"We live in a world where that risk is being managed constantly," said Proctor. "We don’t need to invent an arbitrary barrier to the repair of the stuff we own."
As previously noted on Scrap Collector, right to repair bills would potentially advance not just consumer justice, but the enormous — and growing — environmental burden of e-waste. According to the 2017 Global E-waste Monitor, the world produces approximately 44.7 million metric tons of e-waste per year (the equivalent of almost 4,500 Eiffel Towers) — a number expected to increase by 3-5% annually.
"I feel that we are on the right side of this issue, and that ultimately the bill will prevail," Eggman said, announcing her intent to work with committee members in the coming months to secure the necessary support.
Eggman's bill may, in fact, face a more amenable legislative landscape when it returns next year: Sen. Elizabeth Warren's recent presidential policy proposal to implement a national Right to Repair policy represented "a significant step and a milestone in our efforts," Proctor told Waste Dive last month.
"People just want to fix their stuff," he said. "This issue has been bipartisan from the start, and there is no reason this shouldn't become a consensus issue in the political world."
IN OTHER NEWS...
For the most dedicated of Scrap Collectors… — New York Metropolitan Transit Authority
...a collector's item MADE for collection! The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is currently selling an old trash can — or, in retail-speak, a "refuse canister" — for the very low price of $300 ($75 processing fee not included). And just in time for Mother's Day.
"Authentic, unique, and probably one of the most useful items in every home, work or office now can be yours," the MTA website exclaims. "Hurry and grab this rare item which is available in limited quantity."
In case that description somehow doesn't send you scrambling for your wallet, the website also features various other items for anyone "interested in acquiring a little bit of NYC Transit's History" — including "wooden subway bench," "2 passenger bus seats" and "grabholds & stanchion poles." Get 'em while they're hot!
AROUND THE WORLD
Canada finally agreeing to pick up its trash — CBC
The latest update to the illegal waste saga unfurling between the Philippines and Canada: following Philippines President Duterte's threat last week to "declare war" against Canada for the 77 containers of hazardous waste currently festering in Filipino docks, Canada has, after six years of hedging, extended an offer to repatriate its garbage.
"This is a file we've certainly been working hard on for a long time — obviously an irritant in our relationship with the Philippines, but also a problem," Catherine McKenna, Canada's minister of environment and climate change, told reporters on Thursday. "We've had a team that's been working extremely hard, including from Environment and Climate Change Canada, to find a solution. I am not going to go into the details but there is a proposal on the table with the Philippines and we are hopeful we can come to a resolution."
According to a spokesperson for Canada's foreign affairs minister, the Philippines has yet to respond to the offer — but with any luck, "Philippines declares war against Canada" may be one headline we'll be able to avoid in a year of peak news. More Ali Wong-Steven Yeun texts, fewer terrifying Model UN fever dreams, please!
SEEN & HEARD
Apple just killed #RightToRepair legislation in California by telling lawmakers that consumers will hurt themselves trying to fix their own iPhones.— Kay-Kay Clapp (@kaykayclapp) April 30, 2019
Give this a RT if you've ever done a DIY-iPhone repair and you didn't blow yourself up in the process. ????https://t.co/TfsjaSfweR pic.twitter.com/wtLN6yHgzb
The amount of waste that London produces each day is staggering. Will we ever stem this relentless flow? pic.twitter.com/utvavZLJPh— The Municipal Oracle (@MunicipalOracle) April 30, 2019
Because I was asked once and am easily led, I added music to this. pic.twitter.com/E2oCadu2W2— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) April 29, 2019